Accession Number : ADA187573

Title :   Numerical Simulations of the California Current: Filament Formation as Related to Baroclinic Instability.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s) : Olivier, David A

PDF Url : ADA187573

Report Date : Sep 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 70

Abstract : The California Current System, CCS, consists of four separate currents that are spatially and seasonally distributed of the west coast of the United States. They are: 1) the California Current, a southward flowing surface jet; 2) the California Undercurrent, a northward flowing sub-surface jet; 3) the Davidson Current, a poleward flowing surface jet north of Point Conception; and 4) the Southern California Countercurrent, a northward flowing surface current south of Point Conception in the California Bight. Offshore jets or filaments are a well observed phenomenon in the CCS. Their surface and subsurface structures as well as their spatial and temporal variability are well documented. The methods by which these filaments are formed is not as well understood as their structural form. The most common generation theories are: 1) variations in wind stress coupled with topographic irregularities, 2) dynamic instability, and 3) geostrophic turbulence. This thesis attempts to identify the factor(s) responsible for filament formation south of Cape Mendocino by numerically simulating the CCS using a two-layer, non-linear, primitive equation model. It is shown that baroclinic instability is the primary method by which filaments are formed in this region and that other factors such as barotropic instability, friction and nonlinearities can alter the characteristics of the fastest growing baroclinically unstable wave. Keywords: PE ocean model; Coastal jet flow; Topography; Eddies; Friction.

Descriptors :   *FILAMENTS, *OCEAN CURRENTS, *OCEAN MODELS, BAROMETRIC PRESSURE, CALIFORNIA, COASTAL REGIONS, DYNAMICS, EQUATIONS, FLUIDS, FRICTION, GEOSTROPHIC CURRENTS, JET FLOW, MATHEMATICAL MODELS, NUMERICAL ANALYSIS, SOUTH(DIRECTION), STABILITY, STRATIFICATION, STRESSES, STRUCTURES, SUBSURFACE, THEORY, THESES, TOPOGRAPHY, TURBULENCE, UNITED STATES, OCEAN WAVES, WEST(DIRECTION), WIND, EDDIES(FLUID MECHANICS), LAYERS, NONLINEAR ANALYSIS, OCEAN SURFACE, SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION, SEASONAL VARIATIONS, DIRECTIONAL, COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION, AIR WATER INTERACTIONS, STRUCTURAL PROPERTIES

Subject Categories : Physical and Dynamic Oceanography

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE