• Barth, J. A., 1989: Stability of a coastal upwelling front: Model results and comparison with observations. J. Geophys. Res., 94 ((C8),) 1085710883.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barth, J. A., . 1994: Shortwave instabilities on coastal jets and fronts. J. Geophys. Res., 99 , 1609516115.

  • Beardsley, R. C., D. C. Chapman, K. H. Brink, S. R. Ramp, and R. Schlitz, 1985: The Nantucket Shoals Flux Experiment (NSFE79). Part I: A basic description of the current and temperature variability. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 15 , 713748.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brink, K. H., R. C. Beardsley, J. Paduan, R. Limeburner, M. Caruso, and J. Sires, 2000: A view of the 1993–1994 California Current based on surface drifters, floats, and remotely sensed data. J. Geophys. Res., 105 , 85758604.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Flagg, C. N., 1977: The kinematics and dynamics of the New England continental shelf and shelf/slope front. Ph.D. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 207 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Flagg, C. N., and R. C. Beardsley, 1978: On the stability of the shelf water/slope water front south of New England. J. Geophys. Res., 83 , 46234631.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fratantoni, P. S., R. S. Pickart, D. J. Torres, and A. Scotti, 2001: Mean structure and dynamics of the shelfbreak jet in the Middle Atlantic Bight during fall and winter. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 31 , 21352156.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Garvine, R. W., K-C. Wong, G. G. Gawarkiewicz, and R. K. McCarthy, 1988: The morphology of shelfbreak eddies. J. Geophys. Res., 93 , 1559315607.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Garvine, R. W., K-C. Wong, and G. G. Gawarkiewicz, . 1989: Quantitative properties of shelfbreak eddies. J. Geophys. Res., 94 , 1447514483.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gawarkiewicz, G., 1991: Linear instability models of shelfbreak fronts. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 21 , 471488.

  • Gawarkiewicz, G., F. Bahr, R. C. Beardsley, and K. H. Brink, 2001: Interaction of a slope eddy with the shelfbreak front in the Middle Atlantic Bight. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 31 , 27832796.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gill, A. E., 1982: Atmosphere–Ocean Dynamics. Academic Press, 662 pp.

  • Houghton, R., and M. Visbeck, 1998: Upwelling and convergence in the Middle Atlantic Bight shelfbreak front. Geophys. Res. Lett., 25 , 27652768.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krauss, W., 1973: Dynamics of the Homogeneous and Quasi-homogeneous Ocean. Gebruder Borntraeger, 302 pp.

  • Linder, C., 1996: A climatology of the Middle Atlantic Bight shelfbreak front. M.S. thesis, Dept. of Physical Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 96 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Linder, C., and G. G. Gawarkiewicz, 1998: A climatology of the shelfbreak front in the Middle Atlantic Bight. J. Geophys. Res., 103 , 1840518423.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lozier, M. S., and G. G. Gawarkiewicz, 2001: Cross-frontal exchange in the Middle Atlantic Bight as evidenced by surface drifters. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 31 , 24982510.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moore, G. W. K., and W. R. Peltier, 1987: Cyclogenesis in frontal zones. J. Atmos. Sci., 44 , 384409.

  • Morgan, D. T., 1997: Linear instability of the shelfbreak front off the southern flank of Georges Bank. Ph.D. dissertation, Dartmouth College, 190 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Orlanski, I., 1969: The influence of bottom topography on the stability of jets in a baroclinic fluid. J. Atmos. Sci., 26 , 12161232.

  • Pedlosky, J., 1979: Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. Springer-Verlag, 624 pp.

  • Proehl, J. A., 1996: Linear stability of equatorial zonal flows. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 26 , 601621.

  • Rehmann, C., and T. Duda, 2000: Diapycnal diffusivity inferred from scalar microstructure measurements near the New England shelf/slope front. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 30 , 13541371.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Samelson, R. M., 1993: Linear instability of a mixed-layer front. J. Geophys. Res., 98 , 1019510204.

  • Xue, H., and G. Mellor, 1993: Instability of the Gulf Stream Front in the South Atlantic Bight. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 23 , 23262350.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 189 38 0
PDF Downloads 74 46 0

Instability of a Shelfbreak Front

View More View Less
  • 1 Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • | 2 North Carolina Supercomputing Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
  • | 3 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Restricted access

Abstract

In an attempt to understand whether local instabilities can account for the observed frontal variability in the Middle Atlantic Bight, a linear stability analysis was conducted for a wide range of background density and velocity fields. Three-dimensional perturbations superposed on a continuously stratified shelfbreak front were investigated using the hydrostatic primitive equations. Model results indicate that the shelfbreak frontal jet is unstable over the wide parameter range dictated by the observed velocity and density structure. Model growth rates, on the order of one day, and wavelengths of ∼10–50 km compare favorably to observations, suggesting that local baroclinic/barotropic instabilities are a likely source for the strong temporal and spatial variability of the shelfbreak front in the Middle Atlantic Bight.

Corresponding author address: Dr. M. Susan Lozier, Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Box 90227, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0227. Email: s.lozier@duke.edu

Abstract

In an attempt to understand whether local instabilities can account for the observed frontal variability in the Middle Atlantic Bight, a linear stability analysis was conducted for a wide range of background density and velocity fields. Three-dimensional perturbations superposed on a continuously stratified shelfbreak front were investigated using the hydrostatic primitive equations. Model results indicate that the shelfbreak frontal jet is unstable over the wide parameter range dictated by the observed velocity and density structure. Model growth rates, on the order of one day, and wavelengths of ∼10–50 km compare favorably to observations, suggesting that local baroclinic/barotropic instabilities are a likely source for the strong temporal and spatial variability of the shelfbreak front in the Middle Atlantic Bight.

Corresponding author address: Dr. M. Susan Lozier, Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Box 90227, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0227. Email: s.lozier@duke.edu

Save