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Ogle, SE, Tamsitt V, Josey SA, Gille ST, Cerovecki I, Talley LD, Weller RA.  2018.  Episodic Southern Ocean heat loss and its mixed layer impacts revealed by the farthest south multiyear surface flux mooring. Geophysical Research Letters. 45:5002-5010.   10.1029/2017gl076909   AbstractWebsite

The Ocean Observatories Initiative air-sea flux mooring deployed at 54.08 degrees S, 89.67 degrees W, in the southeast Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean, is the farthest south long-term open ocean flux mooring ever deployed. Mooring observations (February 2015 to August 2017) provide the first in situ quantification of annual net air-sea heat exchange from one of the prime Subantarctic Mode Water formation regions. Episodic turbulent heat loss events (reaching a daily mean net flux of -294W/m(2)) generally occur when northeastward winds bring relatively cold, dry air to the mooring location, leading to large air-sea temperature and humidity differences. Wintertime heat loss events promote deep mixed layer formation that lead to Subantarctic Mode Water formation. However, these processes have strong interannual variability; a higher frequency of 2 sigma and 3 sigma turbulent heat loss events in winter 2015 led to deep mixed layers (>300m), which were nonexistent in winter 2016.

Oka, E, Uehara K, Nakano T, Suga T, Yanagimoto D, Kouketsu S, Itoh S, Katsura S, Talley LD.  2014.  Synoptic observation of Central Mode Water in its formation region in spring 2003. Journal of Oceanography. 70:521-534.   10.1007/s10872-014-0248-2   AbstractWebsite

Hydrographic data east of Japan from five research cruises and Argo profiling floats in spring 2003 have been analyzed to examine the relationship of the formation of Central Mode Water (CMW) and Transition Region Mode Water (TRMW) in late winter 2003 to thermohaline fronts and mesoscale eddies. TRMW and the denser variety of CMW (D-CMW) were formed continuously just south of the subarctic frontal zone between 155 degrees E and 165 degrees W with little relation to eddies, suggesting that the absence of the permanent thermocline and halocline in this area is essential for the formation. The lighter variety of CMW (L-CMW) was formed south of the Kuroshio bifurcation front and east of 165 degrees E, partly in an anticyclonic eddy associated with the Kuroshio Extension. Some portion of D-CMW and L-CMW likely had been subducted to the permanent pycnocline by crossing southward the Kuroshio bifurcation front and the Kuroshio Extension front, respectively. In contrast, the formation of these waters in the western regions was inactive and was significantly different from that described previously using multiyear Argo float data. West of 155 degrees E, TRMW and D-CMW were formed only in two anticyclonic eddies that had been detached from the Kuroshio Extension 1-2 years ago. L-CMW was hardly formed west of 165 degrees E, which might be related to the upstream Kuroshio Extension being in its stable state characterized by low regional eddy activity.

Oka, E, Talley LD, Suga T.  2007.  Temporal variability of winter mixed layer in the mid- to high-latitude North Pacific. Journal of Oceanography. 63:293-307.   10.1007/s10872-007-0029-2   AbstractWebsite

Temperature and salinity data from 2001 through 2005 from Argo profiling floats have been analyzed to examine the time evolution of the mixed layer depth (MLD) and density in the late fall to early spring in mid to high latitudes of the North Pacific. To examine MLD variations on various time scales from several days to seasonal, relatively small criteria (0.03 kg m(-3) in density and 0.2 degrees C in temperature) are used to determine MLD. Our analysis emphasizes that maximum MLD in some regions occurs much earlier than expected. We also observe systematic differences in timing between maximum mixed layer depth and density. Specifically, in the formation regions of the Subtropical and Central Mode Waters and in the Bering Sea, where the winter mixed layer is deep, MLD reaches its maximum in late winter (February and March), as expected. In the eastern subarctic North Pacific, however, the shallow, strong, permanent halocline prevents the mixed layer from deepening after early January, resulting in a range of timings of maximum MLD between January and April. In the southern subtropics; from 20 degrees to 30 degrees N, where the winter mixed layer is relatively shallow, MLD reaches a maximum even earlier in December-January. In each region, MLD fluctuates on short time scales as it increases from late fall through early winter. Corresponding to this short-term variation, maximum MLD almost always occurs 0 to 100 days earlier than maximum mixed layer density in all regions.