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Macdonald, AM, Mecking S, Robbins PE, Toole JM, Johnson GC, Talley L, Cook M, Wijffels SE.  2009.  The WOCE-era 3-D Pacific Ocean circulation and heat budget. Progress in Oceanography. 82:281-325.   10.1016/j.pocean.2009.08.002   AbstractWebsite

To address questions concerning the intensity and spatial structure of the three-dimensional circulation within the Pacific Ocean and the associated advective and diffusive property flux divergences, data from approximately 3000 high-quality hydrographic stations collected on 40 zonal and meridional cruises have been merged into a physically consistent model. The majority of the stations were occupied as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), which took place in the 1990s. These data are supplemented by a few pre-WOCE surveys of similar quality, and time-averaged direct-velocity and historical hydrographic measurements about the equator. An inverse box model formalism is employed to estimate the absolute along-isopycnal velocity field, the magnitude and spatial distribution of the associated diapycnal flow and the corresponding diapycnal advective and diffusive property flux divergences. The resulting large-scale WOCE Pacific circulation can be described as two shallow overturning cells at mid- to low latitudes, one in each hemisphere, and a single deep cell which brings abyssal waters from the Southern Ocean into the Pacific where they upwell across isopycnals and are returned south as deep waters. Upwelling is seen to occur throughout most of the basin with generally larger dianeutral transport and greater mixing occurring at depth. The derived pattern of ocean heat transport divergence is compared to published results based on air-sea flux estimates. The synthesis suggests a strongly east/west oriented pattern of air-sea heat flux with heat loss to the atmosphere throughout most of the western basins, and a gain of heat throughout the tropics extending poleward through the eastern basins. The calculated meridional heat transport agrees well with previous hydrographic estimates. Consistent with many of the climatologies at a variety of latitudes as well, our meridional heat transport estimates tend toward lower values in both hemispheres. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Talley, LD.  2008.  Freshwater transport estimates and the global overturning circulation: Shallow, deep and throughflow components. Progress in Oceanography. 78:257-303.   10.1016/j.pocean.2008.05.001   AbstractWebsite

Meridional ocean freshwater transports and convergences are calculated from absolute geostrophic velocities and Ekman transports. The freshwater transports are analyzed in terms of mass-balanced contributions from the shallow, ventilated circulation of the subtropical gyres, intermediate and deep water overturns, and Indonesian Throughflow and Bering Strait components. The following are the major conclusions: 1. Excess freshwater in high latitudes must be transported to the evaporative lower latitudes, as is well known. The calculations here show that the northern hemisphere transports most of its high latitude freshwater equatorward through North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) formation (as in [Rahmstorf, S., 1996. On the freshwater forcing and transport of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation. Climate Dynamics 12, 799-811]), in which saline subtropical surface waters absorb the freshened Arctic and subpolar North Atlantic surface waters (0.45 +/- 0.15 Sv for a 15 Sv overturn), plus a small contribution from the high latitude North Pacific through Bering Strait (0.06 +/- 0.02 Sv). In the North Pacific, formation of 2.4 Sv of North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) transports 0.07 +/- 0.02 Sv of freshwater equatorward. In complete contrast, almost all of the 0.61 +/- 0.13 Sv of freshwater gained in the Southern Ocean is transported equatorward in the upper ocean, in roughly equal magnitudes of about 0.2 Sv each in the three subtropical gyres, with a smaller contribution of <0. 1 Sv from the Indonesian Throughflow loop through the Southern Ocean. The large Southern Ocean deep water formation (27 Sv) exports almost no freshwater (0.01 +/- 0.03 Sv) or actually imports freshwater if deep overturns in each ocean are considered separately (-0.06 +/- 0.04 Sv). This northern-southern hemisphere asymmetry is likely a consequence of the "Drake Passage" effect, which limits the southward transport of warm, saline surface waters into the Antarctic [Toggweiler, J.R., Samuels, B., 1995a. Effect of Drake Passage on the global thermohaline circulation. Deep-Sea Research 1 42(4), 477-500]. The salinity contrast between the deep Atlantic, Pacific and Indian source waters and the denser new Antarctic waters is limited by their small temperature contrast, resulting in small freshwater transports. No such constraint applies to NADW formation, which draws on warm, saline subtropical surface waters. 2. The Atlantic/Arctic and Indian Oceans are net evaporative basins, hence import freshwater via ocean circulation. For the Atlantic/Arctic north of 32 degrees S, freshwater import (0.28 +/- 0.04 Sv) comes from the Pacific through Bering Strait (0.06 0.02 Sv), from the Southern Ocean via the shallow gyre circulation (0.20 +/- 0.02 Sv), and from three nearly canceling conversions to the NADW layer (0.02 0.02 Sv): from saline Benguela Current surface water (-0.05 +/- 0.01 Sv), fresh AAIW (0.06 0.01 Sv) and fresh AABW/LCDW (0.01 0.01 Sv). Thus, the NADW freshwater balance is nearly closed within the Atlantic/Arctic Ocean and the freshwater transport associated with export of NADW to the Southern Ocean is only a small component of the Atlantic freshwater budget. For the Indian Ocean north of 32 degrees S, import of the required 0.37 +/- 0.10 Sv of freshwater comes from the Pacific through the Indonesian Throughflow (0.23 +/- 0.05 Sv) and the Southern Ocean via the shallow gyre circulation (0.18 +/- 0.02 Sv), with a small export southward due to freshening of bottom waters as they upwell into deep and intermediate waters (-0.04 +/- 0.03 Sv). The Pacific north of 28 degrees S is essentially neutral with respect to freshwater, -0.04 +/- 0.09 Sv. This is the nearly balancing sum of export to the Atlantic through Bering Strait (-0.07 +/- 0.02 Sv), export to the Indian through the Indonesian Throughflow (-0.17 +/- 0.05 Sv), a negligible export due to freshening of upwelled bottom waters (-0.03 +/- 0.03 Sv), and import of 0.23 +/- 0.04 Sv from the Southern Ocean via the shallow gyre circulation. 3. Bering Strait's small freshwater transport of <0.1 Sv helps maintains the Atlantic-Pacific salinity difference. However, proportionally large variations in the small Bering Strait transport would only marginally impact NADW salinity, whose freshening relative to saline surface water is mainly due to air-sea/runoff fluxes in the subpolar North Atlantic and Arctic. In contrast, in the Pacific, because the total overturning rate is much smaller than in the Atlantic, Bering Strait freshwater export has proportionally much greater impact on North Pacific salinity balances, including NPIW salinity. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Fiedler, PC, Talley LD.  2006.  Hydrography of the eastern tropical Pacific: A review. Progress in Oceanography. 69:143-180.   10.1016/j.pocean.2006.03.008   AbstractWebsite

Eastern tropical Pacific Ocean waters lie at the eastern end of a basin-wide equatorial current system, between two large subtropical gyres and at the terminus of two eastern boundary currents. Descriptions and interpretations of surface, pycnocline, intermediate and deep waters in the region are reviewed. Spatial and temporal patterns are discussed using (1) maps of surface temperature, salinity, and nutrients (phosphate, silicate, nitrate and nitrite), and thermocline and mixed layer parameters, and (2) meridional and zonal sections of temperature, salinity, potential density, oxygen, and nutrients. These patterns were derived from World Ocean Database observations by an ocean interpolation algorithm: loess-weighted observations were projected onto quadratic functions of spatial coordinates while simultaneously fitting annual and semiannual harmonics and the Southern Oscillation Index to account for interannual variability. Contrasts between the equatorial cold tongue and the eastern Pacific warm pool are evident in all the hydrographic parameters. Annual cycles and ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation) variability are of similar amplitude in the eastern tropical Pacific, however, there are important regional differences in relative variability at these time scales. Unique characteristics of the eastern tropical Pacific are discussed: the strong and shallow pycnocline, the pronounced oxygen minimum layer, and the Costa Rica Dome. This paper is part of a comprehensive review of the oceanography of the eastern tropical Pacific. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Talley, LD, Reid JL, Robbins PE.  2003.  Data-based meridional overturning streamfunctions for the global ocean. Journal of Climate. 16:3213-3226.   10.1175/1520-0442(2003)016<3213:dmosft>;2   AbstractWebsite

The meridional overturning circulation for the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans is computed from absolute geostrophic velocity estimates based on hydrographic data and from climatological Ekman transports. The Atlantic overturn includes the expected North Atlantic Deep Water formation ( including Labrador Sea Water and Nordic Sea Overflow Water), with an amplitude of about 18 Sv through most of the Atlantic and an error of the order of 3 - 5 Sv (1 Sv = 10(6) m(3) s(-1)). The Lower Circumpolar Deep Water ( Antarctic Bottom Water) flows north with about 8 Sv of upwelling and a southward return in the South Atlantic, and 6 Sv extending to and upwelling in the North Atlantic. The northward flow of 8 Sv in the upper layer in the Atlantic ( sea surface through the Antarctic Intermediate Water) is transformed to lower density in the Tropics before losing buoyancy in the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current. The Pacific overturning streamfunction includes 10 Sv of Lower Circumpolar Deep Water flowing north into the South Pacific to upwell and return southward as Pacific Deep Water, and a North Pacific Intermediate Water cell of 2 Sv. The northern North Pacific has no active deep water formation at the sea surface, but in this analysis there is downwelling from the Antarctic Intermediate Water into the Pacific Deep Water, with upwelling in the Tropics. For global Southern Hemisphere overturn across 30degreesS, the overturning is separated into a deep and a shallow overturning cell. In the deep cell, 22 - 27 Sv of deep water flows southward and returns northward as bottom water. In the shallow cell, 9 Sv flows southward at low density and returns northward just above the intermediate water density. In all three oceans, the Tropics appear to dominate upwelling across isopycnals, including the migration of the deepest waters upward to the thermocline in the Indian and Pacific. Estimated diffusivities associated with this tropical upwelling are the same order of magnitude in all three oceans. It is shown that vertically varying diffusivity associated with topography can produce deep downwelling in the absence of external buoyancy loss. The rate of such downwelling for the northern North Pacific is estimated as 2 Sv at most, which is smaller than the questionable downwelling derived from the velocity analysis.

Talley, LD.  2003.  Shallow, intermediate, and deep overturning components of the global heat budget. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 33:530-560.   10.1175/1520-0485(2003)033<0530:siadoc>;2   AbstractWebsite

The ocean's overturning circulation and associated heat transport are divided into contributions based on water mass ventilation from 1) shallow overturning within the wind-driven subtropical gyres to the base of the thermocline, 2) overturning into the intermediate depth layer (500-2000 m) in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and 3) overturning into the deep layers in the North Atlantic (Nordic Seas overflows) and around Antarctica. The contribution to South Pacific and Indian heat transport from the Indonesian Throughflow is separated from that of the subtropical gyres and is small. A shallow overturning heat transport of 0.6 PW dominates the 0.8-PW total heat transport at 24degreesN in the North Pacific but carries only 0.1-0.4 PW of the 1.3-PW total in the North Atlantic at 24degreesN. Shallow overturning heat transports in the Southern Hemisphere are also poleward: -0.2 to -0.3 PW southward across 30degreesS in each of the Pacific and Indian Oceans but only -0.1 PW in the South Atlantic. Intermediate water formation of 2 and 7 Sv (1 Sv = 10(6) m(3) s(-1)) carries 0.1 and 0.4 PW in the North Pacific and Atlantic, respectively, while North Atlantic Deep Water formation of 19 Sv carries 0.6 PW. Because of the small temperature differences between Northern Hemisphere deep waters that feed the colder Antarctic Bottom Water (Lower Circumpolar Deep Water), the formation of 22 Sv of dense Antarctic waters is associated with a heat transport of only -0.14 PW across 30degreesS (all oceans combined). Upwelling of Circumpolar Deep Water north of 30degreesS in the Indian (14 Sv) and South Pacific (14 Sv) carries -0.2 PW in each ocean.

Talley, LD, Joyce TM, de Szoeke RA.  1991.  Transpacific Sections at 47-Degrees-N and 152-Degrees-W - Distribution of Properties. Deep-Sea Research Part a-Oceanographic Research Papers. 38:S63-S82.   10.1016/S0198-0149(12)80005-7   AbstractWebsite

Three CTD/hydrographic sections with closely-spaced stations were occupied between May 1984 and May 1987, primarily in the subpolar North Pacific. Vertical sections of CTD quantities, oxygen and nutrients are presented. Upper water properties suggest that the Subarctic Front is located south of the subtropical/subpolar gyre boundary at 152-degrees-W, that there is leakage of North Pacific Intermediate Water from the subtropical to the subpolar gyre in the eastern Pacific, and verify the poleward shift of the subtropical gyre center with depth. At intermediate depths (1000-2000 m), a separation between the western and eastern parts of the subpolar gyre is found at 180-degrees along 47-degrees-N. Abyssal waters are oldest in the northeast, with primary sources indicated at the western boundary and north of the Hawaiian Ridge. Properties and geostrophic velocity from detailed crossings of the boundary trenches suggest that flow in the bottom of the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench at the western boundary at 42-degrees-N and 47-degrees-N is northward. Very narrow boundary layers at intermediate depths are revealed in silica, as well as in the dynamical properties, at both the western and northern boundaries, and probably reflect southward and westward flow.