Climatological coastal jet collision, intermediate water formation, and the general circulation of the Red Sea

Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  1997
Authors  Eshel, G.; Naik, N. H.
Journal Title  Journal of Physical Oceanography
Volume  27
Issue  7
Pages  1233-1257
Journal Date  Jul
ISBN Number  0022-3670
Accession Number  ISI:A1997XM92300004
Key Words  indian-ocean; temperature; model; deep

The authors present climatologies of a numerical model of the Red Sea, focusing on the dynamics of winter intermediate water formation. Northward flowing boundary currents are identified as the major dynamical elements. At the northern boundary, the eastern current follows the geometry, eventually turning back to the south. At similar to 26 degrees N and the western wall the two boundary currents collide. At the collision site, the denser eastern current subducts under the western boundary current. The subduction forces the western boundary current eastward into the interior. Convection communicates the surface fluxes to the downwelled plume and intermediate water forms. The estimated rate, 0.11 Sv (Sv = 10(6) m(3) s(-1)), agrees with previous estimates. The authors identify basin-scale sea-surface tilt to the north due to variable thermohaline forcings as the key dynamical variable. The resultant geostrophic eastward cross-channel flow interacts with the boundaries and creates upwelling and surface topography spatial patterns that drive the coastal jets. Upwelling-induced vortex stretching dominates the vorticity balance and governs the separation of the western boundary current from the western wall. The process ceases in the summer.


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URL  <Go to ISI>://A1997XM92300004