A two-way nested simulation of the oceanic circulation in the Southwestern Atlantic Public Deposited

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  • This article presents the results of a high-resolution (1/12°), two-way nested simulation of the oceanic circulation in the southwestern Atlantic region. A comparison between the model results and extant observations indicates that the nested model has skill in reproducing the best-known aspects of the regional circulation, e.g., the volume transport of the ACC, the latitudinal position of the BMC, the shelf break upwelling of Patagonia, and the Zapiola Anticyclone. Sensitivity experiments indicate that the bottom stress parameterization significantly impacts the mean location of the Brazil/Malvinas Confluence and the transport of the Zapiola Anticyclone. The transport of the Brazil Current strengthens during the austral summer and weakens during the austral winter. These variations are driven by the wind stress curl over the southwestern Atlantic. The variations of the transport of the Malvinas Current are out of phase with those of the Brazil Current. Most of the seasonal variability of this current is concentrated in the offshore portion of the jet, the inshore portion has a weak seasonality that modulates the magnitude of the Patagonian shelf break upwelling. Using passive tracers we show that most of the entrainment of deep waters into the shelf occurs in the southernmost portion of the Patagonian shelf and along the inshore boundary of the Brazil Current. Shelf waters are preferentially detrained near the Brazil/Malvinas Confluence. Consistent with previous studies, our simulation also shows that south of ~42°S the Malvinas Current is composed of two jets, which merge near 42°S to form a single jet farther north.
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  • Combes, V., and R. P. Matano (2014), A two-way nested simulation of the oceanic circulation in the Southwestern Atlantic, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119, 731–756. doi:10.1002/2013JC009498
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  • 119
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  • 2
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  • The authors acknowledge the financial support of NASA through Grants NNX08AR40G and NNX12AF67G, NOAA through Grant NA13OAR4310132 and the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE-0928348.
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