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Model Simulations of Mesoscale Eddies and Deep Convection in the Labrador Sea

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doi: 10.1007/s00376-013-3107-y

  • Deep convection in the Labrador Sea is confined within a small region in the southwest part of the basin. The strength of deep convection in this region is related to the local atmospheric and ocean characteristics, which favor processes of deep convection preconditioning and intense air-sea exchange during the winter season. In this study, we explored the effect of eddy-induced flux transport on the stratification of the Labrador Sea and the properties of deep convection. Simulations from an eddy-resolving ocean model are presented for the Labrador Sea. The general circulation was well simulated by the model, including the seasonal cycle of the deep Labrador Current. The simulated distribution of the surface eddy kinetic energy was also close to that derived from Topex-Poseidon satellite altimeter data, but with smaller magnitude. The energy transfer diagnostics indicated that Irminger rings are generated by both baroclinic and barotropic processes; however, when they propagate into the interior basin, the barotropic process also disperses them by converting the eddy energy to the mean flow. In contrast to eddy-permitting simulations, deep convection in the Labrador Sea was better represented in the eddy-resolving model regarding their lateral position. Further analysis indicated that the improvement might be due to the lateral eddy flux associated with the resolved Irminger rings in the eddy-resolving model, which contributes to a realistic position of the isopycnal dome in the Labrador Sea and correspondingly a realistic site of deep convection.
    摘要: Deep convection in the Labrador Sea is confined within a small region in the southwest part of the basin. The strength of deep convection in this region is related to the local atmospheric and ocean characteristics, which favor processes of deep convection preconditioning and intense air-sea exchange during the winter season. In this study, we explored the effect of eddy-induced flux transport on the stratification of the Labrador Sea and the properties of deep convection. Simulations from an eddy-resolving ocean model are presented for the Labrador Sea. The general circulation was well simulated by the model, including the seasonal cycle of the deep Labrador Current. The simulated distribution of the surface eddy kinetic energy was also close to that derived from Topex-Poseidon satellite altimeter data, but with smaller magnitude. The energy transfer diagnostics indicated that Irminger rings are generated by both baroclinic and barotropic processes; however, when they propagate into the interior basin, the barotropic process also disperses them by converting the eddy energy to the mean flow. In contrast to eddy-permitting simulations, deep convection in the Labrador Sea was better represented in the eddy-resolving model regarding their lateral position. Further analysis indicated that the improvement might be due to the lateral eddy flux associated with the resolved Irminger rings in the eddy-resolving model, which contributes to a realistic position of the isopycnal dome in the Labrador Sea and correspondingly a realistic site of deep convection.
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Manuscript received: 20 May 2013
Manuscript revised: 19 October 2013
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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Model Simulations of Mesoscale Eddies and Deep Convection in the Labrador Sea

    Corresponding author: Entcho DEMIROV; 
  • 1. Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
  • 2. Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
  • 3. Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
Fund Project:  This work was funded by the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science through projects GOAPP and GR-631 and NSERC. The support of ACEnet (the Atlantic Computational Excellence Network), which provided the computing assistance forThis work, is greatly acknowledged. We also thank Laurent Debreu for her help in applying the AGRIF package.

Abstract: Deep convection in the Labrador Sea is confined within a small region in the southwest part of the basin. The strength of deep convection in this region is related to the local atmospheric and ocean characteristics, which favor processes of deep convection preconditioning and intense air-sea exchange during the winter season. In this study, we explored the effect of eddy-induced flux transport on the stratification of the Labrador Sea and the properties of deep convection. Simulations from an eddy-resolving ocean model are presented for the Labrador Sea. The general circulation was well simulated by the model, including the seasonal cycle of the deep Labrador Current. The simulated distribution of the surface eddy kinetic energy was also close to that derived from Topex-Poseidon satellite altimeter data, but with smaller magnitude. The energy transfer diagnostics indicated that Irminger rings are generated by both baroclinic and barotropic processes; however, when they propagate into the interior basin, the barotropic process also disperses them by converting the eddy energy to the mean flow. In contrast to eddy-permitting simulations, deep convection in the Labrador Sea was better represented in the eddy-resolving model regarding their lateral position. Further analysis indicated that the improvement might be due to the lateral eddy flux associated with the resolved Irminger rings in the eddy-resolving model, which contributes to a realistic position of the isopycnal dome in the Labrador Sea and correspondingly a realistic site of deep convection.

摘要: Deep convection in the Labrador Sea is confined within a small region in the southwest part of the basin. The strength of deep convection in this region is related to the local atmospheric and ocean characteristics, which favor processes of deep convection preconditioning and intense air-sea exchange during the winter season. In this study, we explored the effect of eddy-induced flux transport on the stratification of the Labrador Sea and the properties of deep convection. Simulations from an eddy-resolving ocean model are presented for the Labrador Sea. The general circulation was well simulated by the model, including the seasonal cycle of the deep Labrador Current. The simulated distribution of the surface eddy kinetic energy was also close to that derived from Topex-Poseidon satellite altimeter data, but with smaller magnitude. The energy transfer diagnostics indicated that Irminger rings are generated by both baroclinic and barotropic processes; however, when they propagate into the interior basin, the barotropic process also disperses them by converting the eddy energy to the mean flow. In contrast to eddy-permitting simulations, deep convection in the Labrador Sea was better represented in the eddy-resolving model regarding their lateral position. Further analysis indicated that the improvement might be due to the lateral eddy flux associated with the resolved Irminger rings in the eddy-resolving model, which contributes to a realistic position of the isopycnal dome in the Labrador Sea and correspondingly a realistic site of deep convection.

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