Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/48194
Title: Diapycnal mixing in Gulf Stream meanders
Authors: Rodríguez-Santana, A. 
Pelegrí Llopart,José Luis 
Sangrá Inciarte, Pablo 
Marrero-Díaz, A. 
UNESCO Clasification: 251007 Oceanografía física
Keywords: Gulf stream
Issue Date: 1999
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research 
Abstract: We use historical data [Bane et at., 1981], interpolated to isopycnic coordinates, to examine the possibility of significant diapycnal mixing within the upper thermocline layers of the Gulf Stream. The data consist of 28 air-dropped expendable bathythermograph (AXBT) sections in the northern Blake Plateau distributed in five different surveys done within 8 days. From the data we obtain a separation index between isopycnMs j = p Oz/Op, where z is the depth of an isopycnM and p is the density; the diapycnal shear Ov/Op, where v is the geostrophic velocity; and the gradient Richardson number Ri. Following Pelegri and Csanady [1994], we postulate that the material derivative of the density, or density tendency wp = Dp/Dt, is the result of small-scale instabilities related to near-critical Ri values. We present the distribution of these quantities (j, Ov/Op, Ri, and wp) and the diapycnal convergence/divergence (Owp/Op) over isopycnals and on sections normal to the coast. The results show the passage of steep meanders being related to anomalously low j values (strong density gradients) within the upper thermocline layers and the cyclonic filaments of the stream. The statically stable upper thermocline layers, however, are concurrent with large diapycnal shear and turn out to be dynamically unstable, characterized by low Ri and high-density tendencies and diapycnal convergence/divergence. The errors involved in calculating the dependent variables from AXBT data are assessed using both an error propagation approach and a Monte Carlo error simulation. These errors, although significant, are not large enough to modify the observed patterns substantially
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/48194
ISSN: 0148-0227
DOI: 10.1029/1999JC900219
Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans [ISSN 0148-0227],v. 104, p. 25891-25912
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