This research was funded by a grant from the NWO/SRON User Support Programme Space Research. The useful discussions with Bob Pickart, Mike Spall, and Fiamma Straneo are highly appreciated. We are particularly grateful for the in situ data provided by Bob Pickart.
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In periods of low convective activity, multiyear restratification is also important. However, that is beyond the scope of this study, where we focus on the restratification immediately after a deep convection winter.
At the end of the spinup phase, the temperature field in the interior displayed only minor differences between different spinup simulations. As a consequence, the amount of heat removed from the basin by constructing the convection region differs by about 1%.
In the model simulations, the fact that restratification of the whole basin must be a multiyear effect is incorporated in the initial density field, which is made based on observations, and the spinup of 6 months to get the boundary current–interior density gradient correct.