Conditional instabilities of the Greenland Sea
Olson, James M.
Garwood, Roland W.
Chu, Peter C.
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This is an examination of the open ocean deep water formation process of the Greenland sea and how it is effected by the depth dependent thermal expansion coefficient. It is hypothesized that free convection associated with parcel instability is possible because of the increase of the thermal expansion coefficient with pressure in conjunction with requisite ambient temperature and salinity profiles. Based on the depth dependence of the thermal expansion coefficient, a natural profile model for parcel instability was formulated and the effects on mixed layer dynamics were investigated. In situ profiles for the wintertime Greenland Sea were examined for potential parcel instabilities. it was shown that only small surface salinity increases associated with freezing could lead to deep penetrative convection. Finally, an analysis was performed for regions of low stability using climatology from the Levitus data set ti determine regions most likely for deep convection.
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