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The Relation between Eddy-Induced Transport and Isopycnic Gradients of Potential Vorticity

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
  • | 2 Oceanography Laboratories, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • | 3 James Rennell Division, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom
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Abstract

The dynamical control of the eddy-induced transport is investigated in a series of idealized eddy-resolving experiments. When there is an active eddy field, the eddy-induced transport is found to correlate with isopycnic gradients of potential vorticity, rather than gradients of layer thickness. For any unforced layers, the eddy transfer leads to a homogenization of potential vorticity and a vanishing of the eddy-induced transport in the final steady state.

Corresponding author address: Dr. David P. Marshall, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, P.O. Box 243, Reading RG6 6BB, United Kingdom.

Email: davidm@met.reading.ac.uk

Abstract

The dynamical control of the eddy-induced transport is investigated in a series of idealized eddy-resolving experiments. When there is an active eddy field, the eddy-induced transport is found to correlate with isopycnic gradients of potential vorticity, rather than gradients of layer thickness. For any unforced layers, the eddy transfer leads to a homogenization of potential vorticity and a vanishing of the eddy-induced transport in the final steady state.

Corresponding author address: Dr. David P. Marshall, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, P.O. Box 243, Reading RG6 6BB, United Kingdom.

Email: davidm@met.reading.ac.uk

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