Ekman spiral in horizontally inhomogeneous ocean with varying eddy viscosity
Chu, Peter C.
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Classical Ekman spiral is generated by surface wind stress with constant eddy viscosity in homogeneous ocean. In real oceans, the eddy viscosity varies due to turbulent mixing caused by surface wind and buoyancy forcing. Horizontally inhomogeneous density produces vertical geostrophic shear which contributes to current shear that also affects the Ekman spiral. Based on the similar theoretical framework as the classical Ekman spiral, the baroclinic components of the Ekman spiral caused by the horizontally inhomogeneous density are obtained analytically with the varying eddy viscosity calculated from surface wind and buoyancy forcing using the K- Profile Parameterization (KPP). Along with the three existing types of eddy viscosity due to pure wind forcing (zero surface buoyancy flux), such an effect is evaluated using the climatological monthly mean data of surface wind stress, buoyancy flux, ocean temperature and salinity, and mixed layer depth.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00024-015-1063-4
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