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Title: Local sensitivities of the gulf stream separation

Robust and accurate Gulf Stream separation remains an unsolved problem in general circulation modeling whose resolution will positively impact the ocean and climate modeling communities. Oceanographic literature does not face a shortage of plausible hypotheses that attempt to explain the dynamics of the Gulf Stream separation, yet a single theory that the community agrees on is missing. We investigate the impact of the Deep Western Boundary Current, coastline curvature, and continental shelf steepening on the Gulf Stream separation within regional configurations of the MIT General Circulation Model. Artificial modifications to the regional bathymetry are introduced to investigate the sensitivity of the separation to each of these factors. Metrics for subsurface separation detection confirm the direct link between flow separation and the surface expression of the Gulf Stream in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Conversely, the Gulf Stream separation exhibits minimal sensitivity to the presence of the DWBC and coastline curvature. The implications of these results to the development of a “separation recipe” for ocean modeling are discussed. Furthermore, we conclude adequate topographic resolution is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for proper Gulf Stream separation.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-25889
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3670
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Physical Oceanography
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Physical Oceanography; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3670
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Earth Sciences; oceanography, gulf stream, flow separation
OSTI Identifier:
1341775
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1337110