Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You and Your Team.

Learn More →

The Influence of Topography on the Stability of Shelfbreak Fronts

The Influence of Topography on the Stability of Shelfbreak Fronts In an attempt to understand the degree to which the stability of a shelfbreak front, characterized by continuous horizontal and vertical shear, is affected by topography, a linear stability analysis was conducted for a range of frontal jets and bottom-slope configurations. Three-dimensional perturbations superposed on a continuously stratified shelfbreak front were investigated using linearized, hydrostatic primitive equations. For all model runs in the study, the frontal instability mode, which is the fastest-growing mode for a baroclinic flow, was not influenced by the bottom: Retrograde, prograde, and flat-bottom jets all share the same stability characteristics. In contrast, weakly baroclinic jets are strongly influenced by bottom topography. The presence of a bottom slope stabilizes prograde jets and destabilizes retrograde jets, a difference attributed to the orientation of the isopycnals relative to the bottom slope. Temporal and/or downstream changes in the bottom slope and/or background stratification are shown to produce sizeable changes in the instability of a weakly baroclinic jet. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Physical Oceanography American Meteorological Society

The Influence of Topography on the Stability of Shelfbreak Fronts

Loading next page...
 
/lp/american-meteorological-society/the-influence-of-topography-on-the-stability-of-shelfbreak-fronts-Z1pMkieC6W
Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0485
DOI
10.1175/JPO2717.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In an attempt to understand the degree to which the stability of a shelfbreak front, characterized by continuous horizontal and vertical shear, is affected by topography, a linear stability analysis was conducted for a range of frontal jets and bottom-slope configurations. Three-dimensional perturbations superposed on a continuously stratified shelfbreak front were investigated using linearized, hydrostatic primitive equations. For all model runs in the study, the frontal instability mode, which is the fastest-growing mode for a baroclinic flow, was not influenced by the bottom: Retrograde, prograde, and flat-bottom jets all share the same stability characteristics. In contrast, weakly baroclinic jets are strongly influenced by bottom topography. The presence of a bottom slope stabilizes prograde jets and destabilizes retrograde jets, a difference attributed to the orientation of the isopycnals relative to the bottom slope. Temporal and/or downstream changes in the bottom slope and/or background stratification are shown to produce sizeable changes in the instability of a weakly baroclinic jet.

Journal

Journal of Physical OceanographyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Aug 26, 2003

References