Planetary and topographic Beta effects on the Northern Canary Current System (NCCS)
Towle, Wendy A.
Batteen, Mary L.
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To investigate planetary and topographic beta effects on classical as well as unique features in the northern Canary Current system (NCCS), several numerical experiments using the Princeton Ocean Model are explored. To isolate the dependence of Coriolis parameterization (aÌ -plane vs. f-plane) from the topographic beta effect, the first (last) two experiments use a flat bottom (topography). In all experiments, classical eastern boundary condition (EBC) features are produced including an offshore surface equatorward meandering jet, coastal surface and subsurface poleward currents, upwelling, meanders, eddies and filaments. Due to the beta effect, the surface coastal jet does not have to be confined to within a Rossby radius of deformation of the coast. The beta effect also plays an important role in the development and westward propagation of Meddies, a unique feature of the NCCS. Bottom topography is shown to play an important role in narrowing, intensifying, and trapping coastal currents. These results show that, while wind forcing is the primary mechanism for generating classical EBC features, planetary and topographic beta also play important roles in the generation, evolution, and maintenance of classical as well as unique features in the NCCS.
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