Laboratory experiments and theory were conducted to observe the flow patterns and transport in both buoyancy-driven and wind-driven rotating fluids. In "lock-exchange" experiments, water with one density flows into a second basin after a sliding gate is removed. Water of a second density flows back into the first basin. The size and location of the currents for various values of density difference, rotation rate, and assorted sidewall geometries was recorded. Volume flux of the fluid was also measured and compared with a theory for lock-exchange flow of a rotating fluid. In a separate group of experiments with a passive upper layer, easterly winds (like those in the Arctic Ocean) drive the upper level water into the Arctic Ocean and therefore oppose the buoyant exchange. Westerly winds would drive the water out of the Arctic Ocean. This indicates that the exchange between the Arctic Ocean and the Greenland-Norwegian Sea is likely to be driven by buoyancy rather than by driven by wind. Crude estimates of the volumetric and fresh water exchange rate from the lock-exchange formulas are compared with observed ocean fluxes, and approximate agreement is found.
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