On the Feedback of the Rhines-Young Pool on the Ventilated Thermocline

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  • 1 Department of Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
  • 2 Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institution of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 3 Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
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Abstract

The model developed by Pedlosky and Young is used to investigate the feedback of a Rhines–Young pool on a ventilated thermocline. It is found that the potential vorticity gradient in a ventilated layer is reduced due to the nonlinear coupling with a deep Rhines–Young pool. Physically, this occurs because part of the Sverdrup transport is carried by the deep pool. As a result the subduction velocity, and in turn, the potential vorticity gradient of the subducted water, is decreased.

Abstract

The model developed by Pedlosky and Young is used to investigate the feedback of a Rhines–Young pool on a ventilated thermocline. It is found that the potential vorticity gradient in a ventilated layer is reduced due to the nonlinear coupling with a deep Rhines–Young pool. Physically, this occurs because part of the Sverdrup transport is carried by the deep pool. As a result the subduction velocity, and in turn, the potential vorticity gradient of the subducted water, is decreased.

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