A time-dependent, three-dimensional primitive-equation model is used here to study meanders that develop upstream of a western boundary current along a continental slope blocked by a diabathic topographic feature. It is found that episodic, large-amplitude meanders and shelfward intrusions occur at upstream distances, which coincide approximately with the topographic standing wavelength. In addition to its potential applications to other problems of front-topography interaction, the phenomenon may be relevant to branching and eddy intrusions of the Kuroshio southwest of Kyushu, Japan, and to the initiation and amplification of Gulf Stream meanders upstream of the “Charleston Bump,” a topographic hump on the continental slope of the U.S. South Atlantic Bight.

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