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Heriberto Jesus Vazquez, Jose Gomez-Valdes, Modesto Ortiz, and Juan Adolfo Dworak

1. Introduction The velocity field in eastern boundary currents is regularly inferred from hydrographic and altimetry data (see, e.g., Lynn and Simpson 1987 ; Strub and James 1995 ). However, the velocity field obtained from these tools includes only the geostrophic component. Nevertheless, shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) observations are becoming quite common in these systems (see, e.g., Pierce et al. 2000 ; Gay and Chereskin 2009 ); its associated velocity field

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Stefano Pierini, Vincenzo Malvestuto, Giuseppe Siena, Thomas A. McClimans, and Stig M. Løvås

1. Introduction Western boundary currents (WBCs) are fundamental features of the large-scale wind-driven ocean circulation. In the subtropical (subpolar) gyres they are narrow and intense poleward (equatorward) currents [e.g., the Gulf Stream (GS) in the North Atlantic, the Kuroshio and Oyashio in the North Pacific, and the East Australian Current in the South Pacific, etc.] that play a fundamental role in the global climate, as they provide a substantial fraction of the oceanic meridional heat

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Zheng Wang and Dongliang Yuan

1. Introduction Since Veronis (1963) found multiple equilibrium solutions existing in the western boundary current (WBC) of the ocean subtropical gyre forced by strong winds, the study of nonlinear features of ocean circulation has been the subject of modern geophysical fluid dynamics study ( Holland and Haidvogel 1981 ; Chao 1984 ; Cox 1987 ; Moro 1988 , 1990 ). Ierley and Sheremet (1995) investigated the bifurcation map of the barotropic quasigeostrophic (QG) vorticity equation for a

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Robert E. Todd, W. Brechner Owens, and Daniel L. Rudnick

1. Introduction The Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Stream along the east coast of North America are segments of the North Atlantic’s western boundary current. As part of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, they are responsible for transferring heat from the tropics to higher latitudes (e.g., Cunningham et al. 2007 ). The western boundary current is also a major source of the kinetic energy (e.g., Wyrtki et al. 1976 ) that stirs the ocean across a range of scales

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Jinbo Wang, Michael A. Spall, Glenn R. Flierl, and Paola Malanotte-Rizzoli

mechanical energy from swift oceanic boundary currents, such as the Gulf Stream. Many studies represent the Gulf Stream as a propagating northern boundary ( Flierl and Kamenkovich 1975 ; Pedlosky 1977 ; Harrison and Robinson 1979 ; Malanotte-Rizzoli et al. 1987 ). These results identify important mechanisms governing the energy radiation from strong ocean currents. Talley (1983) derives the wave properties by solving for the stability of a steady zonal flow and shows that instability radiation will

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W. E. Johns, L. M. Beal, M. O. Baringer, J. R. Molina, S. A. Cunningham, T. Kanzow, and D. Rayner

1. Introduction Western boundary currents in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean play an important role in both the wind-driven and large-scale thermohaline circulation. The deep western boundary current (DWBC) originates from dense overflows in the Greenland/Norwegian Seas and deep convection in the subpolar gyre, and carries these cold waters southward throughout the basin along the western boundary ( Schmitz and McCartney 1993 ). In compensation for this deep southward flow, warm waters

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Ping Zhai, Larry J. Pratt, and Amy Bower

western boundary current. This current can be seen in the Sofianos and Johns (2003) 9-yr average, shown here in Fig. 1 . When the current reaches 19°N it sharply veers to the east and crosses to the eastern boundary, where it continues northward. (The crossover can also be seen at the bottom of Fig. 6 in Yao et al. 2014b ). There is also indirect observational evidence for such a crossover from sea surface temperature fields, as discussed below. The crossover jet appears in the time mean but may

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Lie-Yauw Oey, Jia Wang, and M.-A. Lee

-driven upwelling regions next to the eastern boundaries of the world’s oceans and near the equator ( Tomczak 1981 ; Huyer 1983 ; Hill et al. 1998 ; Kessler 2006 ), upwelling also occurs along western boundary currents ( Lee and Atkinson 1983 ; Oey et al. 1987 , 1992 , 2010 ; Glenn and Ebbesmeyer 1994 ; Ito et al. 1995 ; Yanagi et al. 1998 ; Ichikawa and Beardsley 2002 ; Isobe 2004 , 2008 ; Chang et al. 2009 , 2010 ). Extensive studies have shown that the inshore edge of the Kuroshio in the

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Jaime B. Palter, M. Susan Lozier, and Kara L. Lavender

tracer studies, the deep western boundary current (DWBC) is understood to be a major export pathway for recently ventilated LSW ( Pickart and Smethie 1998 ; Rhein et al. 2002 ; Talley and McCartney 1982 ). Therefore, it is our objective to investigate the mechanisms that regulate the entry of LSW into the DWBC. We pose three potential mechanisms, as schematized in Fig. 2 : 1) LSW is formed directly in the DWBC, 2) eddies flux LSW laterally from the interior Labrador Sea to the DWBC, and 3) a

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Stephanie Waterman and Steven R. Jayne

1. Introduction The Gulf Stream (GS) and the Kuroshio Extension (KE) current systems are among the most energetic current systems in the World Ocean, and they are dominant features of the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans circulations, respectively. After separating from their respective coasts at Cape Hatteras and the Bōōsōō Peninsula, these western boundary currents (WBCs) turn eastward and flow into the deep ocean. Here, they are no longer constrained by topography, and they become

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