The role of the planetary beta effect on currents and meddies in the Northeren Canary Current System
Murray, Patrick J.
Batteen, Mary L.
Collins, Curtis A.
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To investigate the role of planetary beta on classical as well as unique features in the northern Canary Current System (NCCS), four numerical experiments are conducted with varying Coriolis parameterizations (f-plane or beta plane). The first two experiments use a closed boundary and annual salinity forcing for the Mediterranean Outflow (MO). The latter two experiments use an open Mediterranean Sea at the Strait of Gibraltar and seasonal forcing for MO to permit a more accurate investigation of the role of the beta effect on subsurface spreading of MO and Meddies. All four experiments use seasonal climatological winds and seasonal thermohaline gradients along the western boundary to force the model. Experiments run on a beta-plane (Experiments 2 and 4) accurately portray classical eastern boundary current (EBC) mesoscale features. In addition, these experiments depict unique NCCS features associated with a large embayment (the Gulf of Cadiz), poleward spreading of MO, and the generation of Meddies. Experiments run on an f-plane (Experiments 1 and 3) show the unrealistic dominance of a continuously strengthening equatorward jet that inhibits development of classical EBC and unique NCCS features. The complex upper layer and subsurface flow regimes of Experiment 4 most realistically portray currents, mesoscale features and Meddies similar to NCCS observations
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