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Speer, KG, Siedler G, Talley L.  1995.  The Namib Col Current. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers. 42:1933-1950.   10.1016/0967-0637(95)00088-7   AbstractWebsite

Recent measurements indicate the transatlantic extent of the Namib Col Current at depths of 1300-3000 m near Lat. 22 degrees S in the South Atlantic Ocean. This current forms a continuous circulation structure from the Namib Col on the Walvis Ridge to the western trough, though its characteristic change as deepwater with varying properties enters and leaves the current owing to a meridional flow component. Transport estimates from hydrographic sections on the Walvis Ridge and at 15 degrees W near the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge indicate a strength of about 3 x 10(6) m(3) s(-1) The current is part of a larger-scale eastward Row at Lon. 25 degrees W; transport estimates across the salinity maximum core there show a similar strength. Associated with this high-salinity high-oxygen current is a basin-wide front in these properties of varying intensity (weaker in the east) marking the transition to deep water whose North Atlantic characteristics have been partly erased by mixing with Circumpolar Deep Water in the southwest South Atlantic. The water which finally crosses the Walvis Ridge is supplied both by the eastward flow of this (diluted) North Atlantic Deep Water and by a general southeastward interior flow from the northern Angola Basin. Evidence suggests that this deep water continues south in the eastern Cape Basin, leaving the South Atlantic near the African continent.

National Research Council(U.S.). Climate Research Committee..  1995.  Natural climate variability on decade-to-century time scales. :xiv,630p.., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press Abstract
Billheimer, S, Talley LD.  2013.  Near cessation of Eighteen Degree Water renewal in the western North Atlantic in the warm winter of 2011-2012. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 118:6838-6853.   10.1002/2013jc009024   AbstractWebsite

The winter of 2011-2012 was a particularly weak season for the renewal of "Eighteen Degree Water" (EDW), the Subtropical Mode Water of the western North Atlantic, as demonstrated by Argo and repeat hydrography. Weak, late winter buoyancy forcing produced shallower than usual winter mixed layers throughout the subtropical gyre, failing to thoroughly ventilate the underlying mode water, and can likely be attributed to the coinciding high, positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The only region where EDW was renewed was in the far northeastern Sargasso Sea where it is understood that the Gulf Stream plays a central role in formation; no EDW formed over the large regions of the gyre where deep winter mixed layers driven by surface buoyancy loss normally create EDW. The present investigation evaluates 2011-2012 winter buoyancy content anomalies, surface buoyancy fluxes, and advection of buoyancy via the Gulf Stream and compares them with the previous seven winters that exhibited more vigorous EDW formation. The weak 2011-2012 formation did not result from increased Gulf Stream heat advection, and was also not driven by preconditioning as the buoyancy content of the region prior to the onset of winter forcing was not unusually high. Rather, the weak formation resulted from climatologically weak surface cooling late in winter. The winter of 2007-2008 also experienced particularly weak EDW formation under similar conditions, including a high NAO and weak late winter surface cooling.

Shcherbina, AY, Talley LD, Firing E, Hacker P.  2003.  Near-surface frontal zone trapping and deep upward propagation of internal wave energy in the Japan/East Sea. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 33:900-912.   10.1175/1520-0485(2003)33<900:nfztad>;2   AbstractWebsite

The full-depth current structure in the Japan/East Sea was investigated using direct velocity measurements performed with lowered and shipboard acoustic current Doppler profilers. Rotary spectral analysis was used to investigate the three-dimensional energy distribution as well as wave polarization with respect to vertical wave-numbers, yielding information about the net energy propagation direction. Highly energetic near-inertial downward-propagating waves were found in localized patches along the southern edge of the subpolar front. Between 500- and 2500-m depth, the basin average energy propagation was found to be upward, with the maximum of relative difference between upward- and downward-propagating energy lying at about 1500-m depth. This difference was most pronounced in the southeastern part of the basin.

Holte, J, Talley L.  2009.  A New Algorithm for Finding Mixed Layer Depths with Applications to Argo Data and Subantarctic Mode Water Formation. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 26:1920-1939.   10.1175/2009jtecho543.1   AbstractWebsite

A new hybrid method for finding the mixed layer depth (MLD) of individual ocean profiles models the general shape of each profile, searches for physical features in the profile, and calculates threshold and gradient MLDs to assemble a suite of possible MLD values. It then analyzes the patterns in the suite to select a final MLD estimate. The new algorithm is provided in online supplemental materials. Developed using profiles from all oceans, the algorithm is compared to threshold methods that use the C. de Boyer Monte gut et al. criteria and to gradient methods using 13 601 Argo profiles from the southeast Pacific and southwest Atlantic Oceans. In general, the threshold methods find deeper MLDs than the new algorithm and the gradient methods produce more anomalous MLDs than the new algorithm. When constrained to using only temperature profiles, the algorithm offers a clear improvement over the temperature threshold and gradient methods; the new temperature algorithm MLDs more closely approximate the density algorithm MLDs than the temperature threshold and gradient MLDs. The algorithm is applied to profiles from a formation region of Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) and Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW). The density algorithm finds that the deepest MLDs in this region routinely reach 500 dbar and occur north of the A. H. Orsi et al. mean Subantarctic Front in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. The deepest MLDs typically occur in August and September and are congruent with the subsurface salinity minimum, a signature of AAIW.

Chereskin, TK, Talley LD, Sloyan BM.  2010.  Nonlinear vorticity balance of the Subantarctic Front in the southeast Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 115   10.1029/2009jc005611   AbstractWebsite

Direct velocity observations from shipboard and lowered acoustic Doppler current profilers are used to examine the velocity and vorticity structure of the Subantarctic Front (SAF) between the East Pacific Rise and Drake Passage from surveys made in 2005 and 2006. The SAF is characterized by meanders of horizontal wavelength approximately 250-300 km in this region of relatively smooth topography. The depth-averaged SAF jet is observed to be closely aligned with the flow at 150 m, as in an equivalent barotropic flow. The barotropic or depth-averaged vorticity exhibits a balance between advection of planetary vorticity and relative vorticity, as would be seen in a Doppler-shifted short barotropic Rossby wave in a mean flow. The implied wave speed is consistent with the observed range of current speeds. An exponential fit to the vertical structure of the current consistent with the vorticity balance suggests a vertical decay scale of about 1900 m. The vorticity balance at 150 m implies a surface divergence which must be balanced at depth by a divergence of the opposite sign. The calculation confirms the tentative conclusions of Hughes (2005) for this region, which were based on a surface climatology but indicates a larger vertical decay scale and wave speed.

Talley, LD.  1996.  North Atlantic circulation and variability, reviewed for the CNLS conference. Physica D. 98:625-646.   10.1016/0167-2789(96)00123-6   AbstractWebsite

The circulation and water mass structure of the North Atlantic are reviewed, with emphasis on the large-scale overturning cell which produces North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). Properties and transports for its major components (Nordic Seas Overflow Water, Labrador Sea Water, Mediterranean Water, Antarctic Intermediate Water and Antarctic Bottom Water) are reviewed. The transport estimates and properties of NADW coupled with the observed meridional heat transport in the Atlantic limit the temperature of northward flow which replenishes the NADW to the range 11-15 degrees C. The high salinity of the North Atlantic compared with other ocean basins is important for its production of intermediate and deep waters; about one third of its higher evaporation compared with the North Pacific is due to the Mediterranean. The evaporation/precipitation balance for the North Atlantic is similar to the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans; the difference between the North and South Atlantic may be that high evaporation in the North Atlantic affects much greater depths through Mediterranean Water production. Also described briefly is variability of water properties in the upper layers of the subtropical/subpolar North Atlantic, as linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation. The oceanographic time series at Bermuda is then used to show decadal variations in the properties of the Subtropical Mode Water, a thick layer which lies in the upper 500 m. Salinity of this layer and at the sea surface increases during periods when the North Atlantic westerlies weaken between Iceland and the Azores and shift southwestward. (The North Atlantic Oscillation index is low during these periods). Temperature at the surface and in this layer are slightly negatively correlated with salinity, decreasing when salinity increases. It is hypothesized that the salinity increases result from incursion of saline water from the eastern subtropical gyre forced by the southward migration of the westerlies, and that the small temperature decreases are due to increased convection in the Sargasso Sea, also resulting from the southward shift of the westerlies.

Flatau, MK, Talley L, Niiler PP.  2003.  The North Atlantic Oscillation, surface current velocities, and SST changes in the subpolar North Atlantic. Journal of Climate. 16:2355-2369.   10.1175/2787.1   AbstractWebsite

Changes in surface circulation in the subpolar North Atlantic are documented for the recent interannual switch in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index from positive values in the early 1990s to negative values in 1995/96. Data from Lagrangian drifters, which were deployed in the North Atlantic from 1992 to 1998, were used to compute the mean and varying surface currents. NCEP winds were used to calculate the Ekman component, allowing isolation of the geostrophic currents. The mean Ekman velocities are considerably smaller than the mean total velocities that resemble historical analyses. The northeastward flow of the North Atlantic Current is organized into three strong cores associated with topography: along the eastern boundary in Rockall Trough, in the Iceland Basin ( the subpolar front), and on the western flank of the Reykjanes Ridge (Irminger Current). The last is isolated in this Eulerian mean from the rest of the North Atlantic Current by a region of weak velocities on the east side of the Reykjanes Ridge. The drifter results during the two different NAO periods are compared with geostrophic flow changes calculated from the NASA/Pathfinder monthly gridded sea surface height (SSH) variability products and the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) SST data. During the positive NAO years the northeastward flow in the North Atlantic Current appeared stronger and the circulation in the cyclonic gyre in the Irminger Basin became more intense. This was consistent with the geostrophic velocities calculated from altimetry data and surface temperature changes from AVHRR SST data, which show that during the positive NAO years, with stronger westerlies, the subpolar front was sharper and located farther east. SST gradients intensified in the North Atlantic Current, Irminger Basin, and east of the Shetland Islands during the positive NAO phase, associated with stronger currents. SST differences between positive and negative NAO years were consistent with changes in air-sea heat flux and the eastward shift of the subpolar front. SST advection, as diagnosed from the drifters, likely acted to reduce the SST differences.

Treguier, AM, Theetten S, Chassignet EP, Penduff T, Smith R, Talley L, Beismann JO, Boning C.  2005.  The North Atlantic subpolar gyre in four high-resolution models. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 35:757-774.   10.1175/jpo2720.1   AbstractWebsite

The authors present the first quantitative comparison between new velocity datasets and high-resolution models in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre [1/10 degrees Parallel Ocean Program model (POPNA10), Miami Isopycnic Coordinate Ocean Model (MICOM), 1/6 degrees Atlantic model (ATL6), and Family of Linked Atlantic Ocean Model Experiments (FLAME)]. At the surface, the model velocities agree generally well with World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) drifter data. Two noticeable exceptions are the weakness of the East Greenland coastal current in models and the presence in the surface layers of a strong southwestward East Reykjanes Ridge Current. At depths, the most prominent feature of the circulation is the boundary current following the continental slope. In this narrow flow, it is found that gridded float datasets cannot be used for a quantitative comparison with models. The models have very different patterns of deep convection, and it is suggested that this could be related to the differences in their barotropic transport at Cape Farewell. Models show a large drift in watermass properties with a salinization of the Labrador Sea Water. The authors believe that the main cause is related to horizontal transports of salt because models with different forcing and vertical mixing share the same salinization problem. A remarkable feature of the model solutions is the large westward transport over Reykjanes Ridge [10 Sv (Sv = 10(6) m(3) s(-1)) or more].

Talley, LD, Nagata Y, Fujimura M, Iwao T, Kono T, Inagake D, Hirai M, Okuda K.  1995.  North Pacific Intermediate Water in the Kuroshio Oyashio Mixed Water Region. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 25:475-501.   10.1175/1520-0485(1995)025<0475:npiwit>;2   AbstractWebsite

The North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) orginates as a vertical salinity minimum in the mixed water region (MWR) between the Kuroshio and Oyashio, just east of Japan. Salinity minima in this region are examined and related to the water mass structures, dynamical features, and winter mixed layer density of waters of Oyashio origin. Stations in the MWR are divided into five regimes, of which three represent source waters (from the Kuroshio, Oyashio, and Tsugaru Current) and two are mixed waters formed from these three inputs. Examination of NPIW at stations just east of the MWR indicates that the mixed waters in the MWR are the origin of the newest NPIW. Multiple salinity minima with much finestructure are seen throughout the MWR in spring 1989, with the most fragmented occurring around the large warm core ring centered at 37 degrees N, 144 degrees E, suggesting that this is a dominant site for salinity minimum formation. The density of the NPIW in the MWR is slightly higher than the apparent late winter surface density of the subpolar water. It is hypothesized that the vertical mixing that creates interfacial layers above the salinity minima also increases the density of the minima to the observed NPIW density. Transport of new intermediate water (26.65-27.4 sigma(theta)) eastward out of the MWR is about 6 Sv (Sv = 10(6)m(3)s(-1)), of which roughly 45% is of Oyashio origin and the other 55% of Kuroshio origin. Therefore, the transport of subpolar water into the subtropical gyre in the western North Pacific is estimated to be about 3 Sv.

Talley, LD.  1997.  North Pacific intermediate water transports in the mixed water region. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 27:1795-1803.   10.1175/1520-0485(1997)027<1795:npiwti>;2   AbstractWebsite

Initial mixing between the subtropical and subpolar waters of Kuroshio and Oyashio origin occurs in the mixed water region (interfrontal zone) between the Kuroshio and Oyashio. The relatively fresh water that enters the Kuroshio Extension from the Mixed Water Region is this already mixed subtropical transition water. Subtropical transition water in the density range 26.64-27.4 sigma(theta) can be considered to be the newest North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) in the subtropical gyre; this density range is approximately that which is ventilated in the subpolar gyre with significant influence from the Okhotsk Sea. Freshening of the Kuroshio Extension core occurs between 140 degrees and 165 degrees E in the upper part of the NPIW (26.64-27.0 sigma(theta)), with the greatest freshening associated with the eastern side of the first and second Kuroshio meanders. Kuroshio Extension freshening in the lower part of the NPIW (27.0-27.4 sigma(theta)) occurs more gradually and farther to the east. There is nearly no distinction in water properties north and south of the Kuroshio Extension by 175 degrees W. The upper part of the NPIW in the Mixed Water Region progresses from very intrusive and including much freshwater in the west, to much smoother and more saline water in the east. The lower part of the NPIW in the mixed water region progresses from very intrusive and fresh in the far west, to noisy and more saline at 152 degrees E, to smooth and fresher in the east. These suggest a difference between the two layers in both advection direction and possibly transport across the Subarctic Front. Assuming that all waters in the region are an isopycnal mixture of subtropical and subpolar water, the zonal transport of subpolar water in the subtropical gyre at 152 degrees E is estimated at about 3 Sv (Sv = 10(6) m(3) s(-1)). This could be approximately one-quarter of the Oyashio transport in this density range.

Centurioni, LR, Hormann V, Talley LD, Arzeno I, Beal L, Caruso M, Conry P, Echols R, Fernando HJS, Giddings SN, Gordon A, Graber H, Harcourt RR, Jayne SR, Jensen TG, Lee CM, Lermusiaux PFJ, L'Hegaret P, Lucas AJ, Mahadevan A, McClean JL, Pawlak G, Rainville L, Riser SC, Seo H, Shcherbina AY, Skyllingstad E, Sprintall J, Subrahmanyam B, Terrill E, Todd RE, Trott C, Ulloa HN, Wang H.  2017.  Northern Arabian Sea Circulation Autonomous Research (NASCar): A research initiative based on autonomous sensors. Oceanography. 30:74-87.   10.5670/oceanog.2017.224   AbstractWebsite

The Arabian Sea circulation is forced by strong monsoonal winds and is characterized by vigorous seasonally reversing currents, extreme differences in sea surface salinity, localized substantial upwelling, and widespread submesoscale thermohaline structures. Its complicated sea surface temperature patterns are important for the onset and evolution of the Asian monsoon. This article describes a program that aims to elucidate the role of upper-ocean processes and atmospheric feedbacks in setting the sea surface temperature properties of the region. The wide range of spatial and temporal scales and the difficulty of accessing much of the region with ships due to piracy motivated a novel approach based on state-of-the-art autonomous ocean sensors and platforms. The extensive data set that is being collected, combined with numerical models and remote sensing data, confirms the role of planetary waves in the reversal of the Somali Current system. These data also document the fast response of the upper equatorial ocean to monsoon winds through changes in temperature and salinity and the connectivity of the surface currents across the northern Indian Ocean. New observations of thermohaline interleaving structures and mixing in setting the surface temperature properties of the northern Arabian Sea are also discussed.