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Rotating Convection Driven by Differential Bottom Heating **

Rotating Convection Driven by Differential Bottom Heating ** Convection experiments were carried out in a rectangular tank as a model of oceanic meridional overturning circulation. The objective was finding a relation between the meridional heat flux and thermal forcing. To make the meridional heat flux estimate possible, the heat flux was fixed at one bottom end of the tank using an electrical heater. Temperature was fixed at the other end using a cooling plate. All other boundaries were insulated. In equilibrium, the heat input to the fluid H was the same as the meridional heat flux (heat flux from the source to the sink), so it was possible to find a scaling law relating H to the temperature difference across the tank ΔΔ T and rotation rate f. The experimental result suggests that the meridional heat transport in the experiment was mostly due to geostrophic flows with a minor correction caused by bottom friction. When the typical values of the North Atlantic are introduced, the geostrophic scaling law predicts meridional heat flux comparable to that estimated in the North Atlantic when the vertical eddy diffusivity of heat is about 1 cm 2 s −−1 . http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Physical Oceanography American Meteorological Society

Rotating Convection Driven by Differential Bottom Heating **

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0485
DOI
10.1175/1520-0485(1999)029<1208:RCDBDB>2.0.CO;2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Convection experiments were carried out in a rectangular tank as a model of oceanic meridional overturning circulation. The objective was finding a relation between the meridional heat flux and thermal forcing. To make the meridional heat flux estimate possible, the heat flux was fixed at one bottom end of the tank using an electrical heater. Temperature was fixed at the other end using a cooling plate. All other boundaries were insulated. In equilibrium, the heat input to the fluid H was the same as the meridional heat flux (heat flux from the source to the sink), so it was possible to find a scaling law relating H to the temperature difference across the tank ΔΔ T and rotation rate f. The experimental result suggests that the meridional heat transport in the experiment was mostly due to geostrophic flows with a minor correction caused by bottom friction. When the typical values of the North Atlantic are introduced, the geostrophic scaling law predicts meridional heat flux comparable to that estimated in the North Atlantic when the vertical eddy diffusivity of heat is about 1 cm 2 s −−1 .

Journal

Journal of Physical OceanographyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Jan 14, 1998

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