Accession Number : ADA326697

Title :   Laboratory Models of Ocean Circulation.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 1 Oct 88-31 Dec 96,

Corporate Author : WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA

Personal Author(s) : Whitehead, John A.

PDF Url : ADA326697

Report Date : JUN 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 8

Abstract : Assorted studies have been conducted with buoyancy driven flow of a rotating fluid. The results have numerous applications to physical oceanography. Studies of convection were initiated in 1990 with observations of motion driven by surface cooling over a limited area in a rotating fluid (Whitehead 1991). The subsequent studies were then split into two separate experiments involving convection in the two types of configurations which are likely to produce the very coldest water in the oceans, one being over a continental shelf (Whitehead, 1993 and Whitehead and Kimura 1994) and the other being with deep convection in a stratified rotating fluid (with Whitehead Marshall and Hufford 1996). In all these studies, algebraic formulae have been isolated which express the rates of buoyancy flux, the associated density difference of the cooled water, and the accompanying velocity and length scales. Such formulae were tested by the experiments over as wide a range of variables as possible, and always in a range of importance to convection in the ocean. The results give theoretical constraints (backed by physical laboratory evidence) concerning the expected rates of dense water formation. They are useful in planning field experiments and testing oceanic observations of actual dense water accumulation.

Descriptors :   *OCEAN CURRENTS, *BUOYANCY, WATER, FLUX(RATE), FIELD TESTS, CONVECTION, COOLING, SURFACES, CONTINENTAL SHELVES, ROTATION, STRATIFICATION, FLUID FLOW, FORMULAS(MATHEMATICS), OCEANOGRAPHY.

Subject Categories : Physical and Dynamic Oceanography

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE