Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for :

  • Author or Editor: Max Yaremchuk x
  • Journal of Physical Oceanography x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Max Yaremchuk
and
Konstantin Lebedev

Abstract

Climatological data on the oceanic and atmospheric variability are inverted to study seasonal variation of the Kuroshio Extension (KE) and the recirculation gyre to the south. The processed datasets include climatological fluxes of heat, salt, and momentum at the ocean surface; Levitus hydrography; TOPEX/Poseidon altimetry; and surface drifter data. A variational data assimilation technique is used to retrieve variability in the open ocean region (18°–42°N, 142°E–160°W) bounded at 1000 m from below. By optimizing the open boundary values of oceanic fields in combination with initial conditions and atmospheric forcing, model solutions that are consistent with various climatological datasets within limits of observational errors were found. Using this technique, the mean geographical positions of the Subtropical Mode Water (STMW) and Central Mode Water (CMW) formation sites were estimated, the structures were analyzed, and estimates of the mode water production rates were obtained. Computations indicate that CMW formation is likely to occur 15°–20° west of the location diagnosed formerly without taking salinity data into the account. The optimized seasonal cycle is characterized by the STMW and CMW production rates of 3.8 ± 0.6 and 3.1 ± 0.5 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1), respectively. The KE annual mean transport in the upper 1000 m is diagnosed as 68 ± 7 Sv with a maximum of 79 ± 8 Sv in June–July and a minimum of 56 ± 6 Sv in December–January. Analysis of the heat and salt budgets in the region has shown that atmospheric fluxes are counterbalanced by the horizontal divergence of the advective temperature and salinity transports. In the annual mean, horizontal diffusion plays a minor role in the budgets.

Full access
Max Yaremchuk
and
Tangdong Qu

Abstract

The mean seasonal cycle of the western boundary currents in the tropical North Pacific Ocean is studied diagnostically by combining atmospheric climatologies with drifter, satellite altimetry, and hydrographic data in the framework of a simplified numerical model incorporating geostrophy, hydrostatics, continuity, and tracer conservation. The approach enables the authors to diagnose the absolute 3D velocity field and to assess the seasonal cycle of sea surface height (SSH)/total transports. Errors are estimated by considering multiple datasets and averaging over the results of the corresponding diagnostic computations. Analysis shows that bifurcation of the North Equatorial Current (NEC) occurs at 14.3° ± 0.7°N near the Philippine coast. Meridional migration of the NEC bifurcation latitude is accompanied by quantitative changes in the partitioning of the NEC transport between the Kuroshio and Mindanao Current. In February–July, when the NEC transport is 58 ± 3 Sv (Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1), the Kuroshio transport is 12%–15% higher than the Mindanao Current (MC) transport. In the second half of the annual cycle the situation is reversed: in October the NEC transport drops to 51 ± 2 Sv with the MC transport exceeding the Kuroshio transport by 25%. The net westward transport through the Luzon Strait is characterized by a minimum of 1.2 ± 1.1 Sv in July–September and a maximum of 4.8 ± 0.8 Sv in January– February. A statistically significant correlation is established between the monthly SSH/streamfunction anomalies north of 10°N and the Ekman pumping rate associated with the northeast monsoon developing in the region in October–December. The result provides an indication of the fact that local monsoon is likely to be an important mechanism governing seasonal variation of the NEC partitioning and water mass distribution between the tropical and subtropical North Pacific.

Full access
Joseph M. D’Addezio
,
Gregg A. Jacobs
,
Max Yaremchuk
, and
Innocent Souopgui

Abstract

We analyze high-resolution (1 km) simulations of the western Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Arabian Sea to understand submesoscale eddy dynamics. A mask based on the Okubo–Weiss parameter isolates small-scale eddies, and we further classify those with |ζ/f| ≥ 1 as being submesoscale eddies. Cyclonic submesoscale eddies exhibit a vertical depth structure in which temperature anomalies from the large-scale background are negative. Peak density anomalies associated with cyclonic submesoscale eddies are found at a depth approximately twice the mixed layer depth (MLD). Within anticyclonic submesoscale eddies, temperature anomalies are positive and have peak density anomalies at the MLD. The depth–depth covariance structure for the cyclonic and anticyclonic submesoscale eddies have maxima over a shallow region near the surface and weak off diagonal elements. The observed vertical structure suggests that submesoscale eddies have a shallower depth profile and smaller vertical correlation scales when compared to the mesoscale phenomenon. We test a two-dimensional submesoscale eddy dynamical balance. Compared to a geostrophic dynamical balance using only pressure gradient and Coriolis force, including velocity tendency and advection produces lower errors by about 20%. In regions with strong tides and associated internal waves (western Pacific and Arabian Sea), using the mixed layer integrated small-scale steric height within the dynamical equations produces the lowest magnitude errors. In areas with weak tides (Gulf of Mexico), using small-scale sea surface height (SSH) produces the lowest magnitude errors. Recovering a submesoscale eddy with the correct magnitude and rotation requires integration of small-scale specific volume anomalies well below the mixed layer.

Free access
Max Yaremchuk
,
Julian McCreary Jr.
,
Zuojun Yu
, and
Ryo Furue

Abstract

The salinity distribution in the South China Sea (SCS) has a pronounced subsurface maximum from 150–220 m throughout the year. This feature can only be maintained by the existence of a mean flow through the SCS, consisting of a net inflow of salty North Pacific tropical water through the Luzon Strait and outflow through the Mindoro, Karimata, and Taiwan Straits. Using an inverse modeling approach, the authors show that the magnitude and space–time variations of the SCS thermohaline structure, particularly for the salinity maximum, allow a quantitative estimate of the SCS throughflow and its distribution among the three outflow straits. Results from the inversion are compared with available observations and output from a 50-yr simulation of a highly resolved ocean general circulation model.

The annual-mean Luzon Strait transport is found to be 2.4 ± 0.6 Sv (Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1). This inflow is balanced by the outflows from the Karimata (0.3 ± 0.5 Sv), Mindoro (1.5 ± 0.4), and Taiwan (0.6 ± 0.5 Sv) Straits. Results of the inversion suggest that the Karimata transport tends to be overestimated in numerical models. The Mindoro Strait provides the only passage from the SCS deeper than 100 m, and half of the SCS throughflow (1.2 ± 0.3 Sv) exits the basin below 100 m in the Mindoro Strait, a result that is consistent with a climatological run of a 0.1° global ocean general circulation model.

Full access