A numerical study of topographically steered flows in the Fram Strait.
McShane, David W.
Smith, David C., IV
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The Fram Strait is a region of complex circulation and intense dynamical activity. Its general circulation is largely influenced by the East Greenland Current (EGC), the associated Marginal Ice Zone jet, the West Spitzbergen Current (WSC) and the topography of the region. The general circulation was studied using a two-layered numerical model. Forcing of the model was done by varying the inflow and outflow velocity; the port locations and boundary conditions; and by adjustment of topography. Representative topography of the Fram Strait was modeled in the lower layer. Results indicate that the model is sensitive to EGC width and its proximity to the western boundary; and that in the absence of EGC flow, the Return Atlantic Current does not exist. Investigation of model sensitivity to WSC inflow vertical shear led to the conclusion that when the WSC inflow is 10 cm/sec in the upper layer and 5 cm/sec in the lower layer, a boundary trapped component of the WSC is generated.
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