Stochastic Wave Radiation by the Gulf Stream

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  • 1 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
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Abstract

A linear, small amplitude model of Rossby waves forced by idealized meanders is presented in order to ascertain whether or not the observed low frequency motions near the Gulf Stream are capable of being so generated. Two crucial ingredients are shown to be necessary; the meandering activity must vary in the downstream direction and the meanders must have a transient behavior. Cast as a stochastic average over a large number of meanders the predicted amplitudes of the kinetic energy and Reynolds stresses are similar to those observed. Implications for the forcing of a mean flow are discussed.

Abstract

A linear, small amplitude model of Rossby waves forced by idealized meanders is presented in order to ascertain whether or not the observed low frequency motions near the Gulf Stream are capable of being so generated. Two crucial ingredients are shown to be necessary; the meandering activity must vary in the downstream direction and the meanders must have a transient behavior. Cast as a stochastic average over a large number of meanders the predicted amplitudes of the kinetic energy and Reynolds stresses are similar to those observed. Implications for the forcing of a mean flow are discussed.

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