A numerical study of the Southwestern Atlantic Shelf circulation : stratified ocean response to local and offshore forcing Public Deposited

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  • This article discusses the results of a suite of numerical simulations of the oceanic circulation in the Southwestern Atlantic Shelf region that are aimed to characterize its mean circulation and seasonal variability and to determine the dynamical mechanisms controlling them. Our experiments indicate that south of 40°S the mean circulation is dominated by a general northeastward flow in the southern portion of the shelf, which is controlled by the discharges from the Magellan Straits, tidal mixing, wind forcing, and the offshore influence of the Malvinas Current farther north. The region from 40°S to 33°S presents the highest seasonal variability, with intrusions of cold sub-Antarctic waters and the northward expansion of mixtures of the Río de la Plata waters in late fall and a slower retraction of the plume during spring-summer. Wind stress variability seems to be the primarily forcing mechanism for the plume dynamics. These model results are in reasonable agreement with observations and previous model results. The present solutions also reveal important additional features of the shelf response. The along-shelf circulation, for example, is largely driven by the western boundary currents in the middle and outer shelf, with induced transports that are 3 times larger than in experiments forced by winds and tides. The analysis also indicates that the upstream influence of the Malvinas Current is felt well beyond its retroflection point in the form of a northward middle-shelf current and that the interaction of the Brazil Current with the Brazilian shelf topography is primarily responsible for inducing steady shelf break upwelling.
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  • Palma, E. D., Piola, A. R., Matano, R. P., A numerical study of the Southwestern Atlantic Shelf circulation : stratified ocean response to local and offshore forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 113, C11010, doi:10.1029/2007JC004720.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2010-04-26T14:40:23Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Palma et al JGR 2008.pdf: 2039960 bytes, checksum: 8d71f9b63b1e81fef28e1111b2304e71 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2008
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