Accession Number : ADP001048

Title :   The Behavior of an Individual Current Meander in Different Dynamical Regimes,


Personal Author(s) : Hurlburt,Harley E. ; Thompson,J. Dana , Jr

Report Date : APR 1982

Pagination or Media Count : 26

Abstract : This study represents a middle ground between investigations of mesoscale isolated vortices and studies of unstable currents with such large populations of eddies that the basic evolution of individual current meanders tends to be obscured. Here, the behavior of individual current meanders in different dynamical regimes is examined using a two-layer primitive-equation model and schematic geometry of the Gulf of Mexico, a geometry useful in studying a single current meander. The dynamical regimes include horizontal shear instability of the first internal mode, baroclinic instability, and mixed instability. In most cases the flow is driven entirely by currents through the boundary in the upper layer. In each case the evolution of three links in the dynamical chain are examined: (1) the formation and detachment of the eddies from a large amplitude meander, (2) the flow driven in the lower layer by features in the upper layer, and (3) the significant back interaction from the deep flow to the upper layer. The influence of large amplitude topography is important.

Descriptors :   *Eddies(Fluid mechanics), Mexico Gulf, Ocean currents, Vortices, Energetic properties, Kinetic energy, Stability, Ocean models

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE