A Simple Topographic Model of Gulf Stream Separation

Neville R. Smith Department of Mathematics, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria Australia 3168

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C. B. Fandry Department of Mathematics, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria Australia 3168

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Abstract

A simple, frictional, linear model is used to study the motion of the Gull Stream over the continental shelf. It is found that the combination of frictional and topographic effects may provide a further mechanism by which the observed separation of the Gulf Stream may be achieved.

The model predicts separation in the form of a classical separated boundary layer and interrelates the slope of the bottom with the position of separation. Counter-circulations northwest of the stream and increased northward transport of the current are also predicted.

Abstract

A simple, frictional, linear model is used to study the motion of the Gull Stream over the continental shelf. It is found that the combination of frictional and topographic effects may provide a further mechanism by which the observed separation of the Gulf Stream may be achieved.

The model predicts separation in the form of a classical separated boundary layer and interrelates the slope of the bottom with the position of separation. Counter-circulations northwest of the stream and increased northward transport of the current are also predicted.

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