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Snyder, S, Franks PJS, Talley LD, Xu Y, Kohin S.  2017.  Crossing the line: Tunas actively exploit submesoscale fronts to enhance foraging success. Limnology and Oceanography Letters. 2:187-194.   10.1002/lol2.10049   Abstract

Fronts—i.e., the boundaries between water masses—are ubiquitous in the world oceans and have been shown to significantly influence pelagic ecosystems with enhanced local productivity and increased abundances of forage fish and top predators. Here we use data from archival tags to document how four juvenile albacore tunas foraged at and exploited a thermal front. Of the 3098 observed trips, the albacore mainly swam across the front between the warm side above the thermocline and the cold side below the thermocline with an average of 78 ± 20.4 cross-frontal trips per fish per day. The warm frontal surface waters provided a thermal resource, allowing the tuna to maintain higher body temperatures and thus forage more efficiently in the food-rich waters of the cold side of the front. Foraging success of the tunas decreased as the cross-front thermal gradient weakened. This first look into small-scale use of fronts by a top predator demonstrates that ephemeral, submesoscale oceanic features can play a significant role in pelagic ecology.

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.

Suga, T, Talley LD.  1995.  Antarctic Intermediate Water Circulation in the Tropical and Subtropical South-Atlantic. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 100:13441-13453.   10.1029/95jc00858   AbstractWebsite

Recent hydrographic data from the South Atlantic Ventilation Experiment cruises and others are combined with historical data and used to map the isopycnal properties corresponding to the Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) in the Atlantic Ocean. The low salinity of the AAIW extends eastward across the South Atlantic just south of the equator (3-4 degrees S). Evidence of a weak eastward flow just north of the equator (1-2 degrees N) is also shown. Lateral and vertical homogenization of properties in the AAIW is found at the equator between 2 degrees S and 2 degrees N; there is no clear zonal gradient in salinity just along the equator. These observations suggest enhanced mixing within the equatorial baroclinic deformation radius. The South Atlantic tropical gyre is shown to consist of the following three cells: one cyclonic cell centered at about 7 degrees S, another centered at about 19 degrees S in the west and 23 degrees S in the east, and one anticyclonic cell centered at about 13 degrees S. These cells are associated with a westward extension at 10 degrees S of high salinity and low oxygen which originates in the eastern tropical South Atlantic and a front in these properties at about 15 degrees S in the west and about 20 degrees S in the east.

Talley, LD.  1983.  Radiating Barotropic Instability. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 13:972-987.   10.1175/1520-0485(1983)013<0972:rbi>;2   AbstractWebsite

The linear stability of zonal, parallel shear flow on a beta-plane is discussed. While the localized shear region supports unstable waves, the far-field can support Rossby waves because of the ambient potential-vorticity gradient. An infinite zonal flow with a continuous cross-stream velocity gradient is approximated with segments of uniform flow, joined together by segments of uniform potential vorticity. This simplification allows an exact dispersion relation to be found. There are two classes of linearly unstable solutions. One type is trapped to the source of energy and has large growth rates. The second type is weaker instabilities which excite Rossby waves in the far-field: the influence of these weaker instabilities extends far beyond that of the most unstable waves.

Talley, LD.  1996.  Physical oceanography. Encylopedia of Earth Sciences. :745-749., New York: MacMillan Publishing Abstract
Talley, LD, Johnson GC.  1994.  Deep, Zonal Subequatorial Currents. Science. 263:1125-1128.   10.1126/science.263.5150.1125   AbstractWebsite

Large-scale, westward-extending tongues of warm (Pacific) and cold (Atlantic) water are found between 2000 and 3000 meters both north and south of the equator in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They are centered at 5-degrees to 8-degrees north and 10-degrees to 15-degrees south (Pacific) and 5-degrees to 8-degrees north and 15-degrees to 20-degrees south (Atlantic). They are separated in both oceans by a contrasting eastward-extending tongue, centered at about 1-degrees to 2-degrees south, in agreement with previous helium isotope observations (Pacific). Thus, the indicated deep tropical westward flows north and south of the equator and eastward flow near the equator may result from more general forcing than the hydrothermal forcing previously hypothesized.

Talley, LD, Stammer D, Fukumori I.  2001.  The WOCE Synthesis. Ocean circulation and climate : observing and modelling the global ocean. ( Siedler G, Church J, Gould WJ, Eds.).:525-546., San Diego, Calif. London: Academic Abstract
Talley, LD, Min DH, Lobanov VB, Luchin VA, Ponomarev VI, Salyuk AN, Shcherbina AY, Tishchenko PY, Zhabin I.  2006.  Japan/East Sea water masses and their relation to the sea's circulation. Oceanography. 19:32-49.   10.5670/oceanog.2006.42   Abstract

The Japan/East Sea is a major anomaly in the ventilation and overturn picture of the Pacific Ocean. The North Pacific is well known to be nearly unventilated at intermediate and abyssal depths, reflected in low oxygen concentration at 1000 m (Figure 1). (High oxygen indicates newer water in more recent contact with the atmosphere. Oxygen declines as water "ages" after it leaves the sea surface mainly because of bacterial respiration.) Even the small production of North Pacific Intermediate Water in the Okhotsk Sea (Talley, 1991; Shcherbina et al., 2003) and the tiny amount of new bottom water encountered in the deep Bering Sea (Warner and Roden, 1995) have no obvious impact on the overall oxygen distribution at 1000 m and below, down to 3500 m, which is the approximate maximum depth of the Bering, Okhotsk, and Japan/East Seas.

Talley, LD, White WB.  1987.  Estimates of Time and Space Scales at 300-Meters in the Midlatitude North Pacific from the Transpac-Xbt Program. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 17:2168-2188.   10.1175/1520-0485(1987)017<2168:eotass>;2   AbstractWebsite

Estimates of length and time scales of temperature variability at 300 meters in the midlatitude North Pacific are made. Data are XBT traces collected from 1976 to 1984 in the TRANSPAC Volunteer Observing Ship program. Temperatures at 300 meters are grouped in two-mouth bins and gridded using the Surface II mapping program.Temperature variance about the time mean is largest in the Kuroshio Extension and nearly constant in the eastern North Pacific. A cooling trend occurred in the eastern North Pacific over the eight years of the dataset. In the western Pacific, the annual cycle is most intense 1°–2° north of the Kuroshio Extension, with an indication of meridional propagation away from the region of most intense variability. Propagation of annual waves in the eastern Pacific was predominantly northwestward.Wavenumber and frequency spectra are computed from normalized temperatures with the mean and bimonthly average removed in order to eliminate the dominant annual cycle. Based on the overall temperature variance, the North Pacific was divided into western and eastern regions. Zonal wavenumber and frequency spectra and two-dimensional ω/k spectra were computed for a number of latitudes in the eastern and western regions. Two-dimensional k/l spectra were also computed for the western and eastern regions. The spectra indicate westward propagation throughout the midlatitude North Pacific with additional eastward propagation in the Kuroshio Extension region, shorter length and time scales in the Kuroshio Extension compared with other regions, and slight dominance of southwestward propagation in bath the eastern and western North Pacific.Tests to determine the effective spatial resolution of the dataset indicate that local average-station spacing is a good measure of local Nyquist wavelength. However, because of the nearly random sampling in a spatially limited region, an unresolved wave is aliased more or less in a band stretching towards low wavenumber rather than folded in coherent, predictable locations in the spectrum. With the choice of a two-month time bin, spectra are about equally aliased in space and time, with Nyquist wavelength and period close to the beginning of energy rolloff reported in other surveys, which have better spatial resolution but less degrees of freedom.

Talley, LD, Baringer MO.  1997.  Preliminary results from WOCE hydrographic sections at 80 degrees E and 32 degrees S in the central Indian Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters. 24:2789-2792.   10.1029/97gl02657   AbstractWebsite

The hydrographic properties and circulation along sections at 80 degrees E and 32 degrees S in March, 1995, in the Indian Ocean are described very briefly. A halocline was well-developed in the tropics. A westward coastal jet of fresh Bay of Bengal water was present at the sea surface at Sri Lanka with eastward flow of saline Arabian Sea water below. The Equatorial Undercurrent was well developed as were the deep equatorial jets. The Indonesian throughflow jet presented a large dynamic signature at 10 to 14 degrees S coinciding with a strong front in all properties to great depth. Its mid-depth salinity minimum is separated from that of the Antarctic Intermediate Water. The Subantarctic Mode Water of the southeastern Indian Ocean imparts its high oxygen ventilation signature to the whole of the transects, including the tropical portion. The deepest water in the Central Indian Basin is pooled in the center of the basin, and its principal source appears to be the sill at 11 degrees S through the Ninetyeast Ridge. Northward deep water transports across the 32 degrees S section were similar to those observed in 1987 but the deep water was lower in oxygen and fresher than in 1987. Upper ocean waters at 32 degrees S were more saline and warmer in 1995.

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.  1985.  Ventilation of the Sub-Tropical North Pacific - the Shallow Salinity Minimum. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 15:633-649.   10.1175/1520-0485(1985)015<0633:votsnp>;2   AbstractWebsite

The shallow salinity minimum of the subtropical North Pacific is shown to be a feature of the ventilated, wind-driven circulation. Subduction of low salinity surface water in the northeastern subtropical gyre beneath higher salinity water to the south causes the salinity minimum. Variation of salinity along surface isopycnals causes variations in density and salinity at the minimum.A model of ventilated flow is used to demonstrate how the shallow salinity minimum can arise. The model is modified to account for nonzonal, realistic winds; it is also extended to examine the three-dimensional structure of the western shadow zone. The boundary between the subtropical and subpolar gyres is given by the zero of the zonal integral of Ekman pumping. The western shadow zone fills the subtropical gyre at the base of the ventilated layers and decreases in extent with decreasing density. For parameters appropriate to the North Pacific, the eastern shadow zone is of very limited extent.Observations of salinity and potential vorticity within and below the ventilated layer bear out model predictions of the extent of the western shadow zone.

Talley, LD.  2013.  Closure of the Global Overturning Circulation Through the Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans: Schematics and Transports. Oceanography. 26:80-97. AbstractWebsite

The overturning pathways for the surface-ventilated North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) and Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) and the diffusively formed Indian Deep Water (IDW) and Pacific Deep Water (PDW) are intertwined. The global overturning circulation (GOC) includes both large wind-driven upwelling in the Southern Ocean and important internal diapycnal transformation in the deep Indian and Pacific Oceans. All three northern-source Deep Waters (NADW, IDW, PDW) move southward and upwell in the Southern Ocean. AABW is produced from the denser, salty NADW and a portion of the lighter, low oxygen IDW/PDW that upwells above and north of NADW. The remaining upwelled IDW/PDW stays near the surface, moving into the subtropical thermoclines, and ultimately sources about one-third of the NADW. Another third of the NADW comes from AABW upwelling in the Atlantic. The remaining third comes from AABW upwelling to the thermocline in the Indian-Pacific. Atlantic cooling associated with NADW formation (0.3 PW north of 32 degrees S; 1 PW = 1015 W) and Southern Ocean cooling associated with AABW formation (0.4 PW south of 32 degrees S) are balanced mostly by 0.6 PW of deep diffusive heating in the Indian and Pacific Oceans; only 0.1 PW is gained at the surface in the Southern Ocean. Thus, while an adiabatic model of NADW global overturning driven by winds in the Southern Ocean, with buoyancy added only at the surface in the Southern Ocean, is a useful dynamical idealization, the associated heat changes require full participation of the diffusive Indian and Pacific Oceans, with a basin-averaged diffusivity on the order of the Munk value of 10(-4) m(2) s(-1).

Talley, LD.  1991.  An Okhotsk Sea-Water Anomaly - Implications for Ventilation in the North Pacific. Deep-Sea Research Part a-Oceanographic Research Papers. 38:S171-S190.   10.1016/S0198-0149(12)80009-4   AbstractWebsite

An unusually cold, fresh and oxygenated layer of water centered at a pressure of 800 dbar and sigma-theta of 27.4 was found at a CTD station in the western Pacific at 43-degrees-5'N, 153-degrees-20'E in August 1985. The anomaly was part of a larger pattern of less dramatic but nevertheless higher variance at densities up to 27.6-sigma-theta in the mixed water region of the Oyashio and Kuroshio, south of the Bussol' Strait, which connects the Sea of Okhotsk and the open North Pacific. Isopycnal maps indicate that the source of the anomaly, which was embedded in a cyclonic flow, was the Okhotsk Sea. Surface properties in the Okhotsk Sea, based on all available NODC observations, and isopycnal maps indicate that the layer probably did not originate at the sea surface in open water. Instead, the principal modifying influences at densities of 26.8-27.6-sigma-theta in the North Pacific are sea-ice formation and vertical mixing, the latter primarily in the Kuril Straits. A simple calculation shows that most of the low salinity influence at these densities in the North Pacific can originate in the Okhotsk Sea and that vertical mixing in the open North Pacific may be much less important than previously thought.

Talley, LD.  1983.  Radiating Instabilities of Thin Baroclinic Jets. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 13:2161-2181.   10.1175/1520-0485(1983)013<2161:riotbj>;2   AbstractWebsite

The linear stability of thin, quasi-geostrophic, two-layer zonal jets on the β-plane is considered. The meridional structure of the jets is approximated in such a way as to allow an exact dispersion relation to be found. Necessary conditions for instability and energy integrals are extended to these piece-wise continuous profiles. The linearly unstable modes which arise can be related directly to instabilities arising from the vertical and horizontal shear. It is found empirically that the necessary conditions for instability are sufficient for the cases considered. Attention is focused on unstable modes that penetrate far into the locally stable ocean interior and which are found when conditions allow the jet instability phase speeds to overlap the far-field. free-wave phase speeds. These radiating instabilities exist in addition to more unstable waves which are trapped within a few deformation radii of the jet. The growth rates of the radiating instabilities depend strongly on the size of the overlap of instability and free-wave phase speeds. The extreme cases of this are westward jets which have vigorously growing, radiating instabilities and purely eastward jets which do not radiate at all. Radiating instabilities are divided into two types: a subset of the jets' main unstable waves near marginal stability and instabilities which appear to be destabilized free waves of the interior ocean. It is suggested that the fully developed field of instabilities of a zonal current consists of the most unstable, trapped waves directly in the current with a shift to less unstable, radiating waves some distance from the current. A brief comparison of the model results with observations south of the Gulf Stream is made.

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, Yun JY.  2001.  The role of cabbeling and double diffusion in setting the density of the North Pacific intermediate water salinity minimum. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 31:1538-1549.   10.1175/1520-0485(2001)031<1538:trocad>;2   AbstractWebsite

The top of the North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) in the subtropical North Pacific is identified with the main salinity minimum in the density range sigma (theta) = 26.7-26.8. The most likely source of low salinity for the NPIW salinity minimum is the Oyashio winter mixed layer, of density sigma (theta) = 26.5- 26.65. The Oyashio waters mix with Kuroshio waters in the broad region known as the Mixed Water Region (MWR), between the separated Kuroshio and Oyashio Fronts just east of Japan. It is shown that cabbeling during mixing of the cold, fresh Oyashio winter mixed layer water with the warm, saline Kuroshio water increases the density of the mixture by up to sigma (theta) = 0.07 at densities around sigma (theta) = 26.6-26.65, regardless of the mixing mechanism. Thus cabbeling accounts for about half of the observed density difference between the Oyashio winter mixed layer water and the top of the NPIW. Double diffusion during mixing of the interleaving layers of Oyashio and Kuroshio waters in the MWR can also change the density of the mixing intrusions. Density ratios favorable to double diffusion are shown to be especially prominent in Oyashio intrusions into a Kuroshio warm core ring in the 1989 data examined here. The average potential temperature-salinity profile of the new subtropical NPIW just east of the MWR, with its nearly uniform salinity, suggests the dominance of salt fingering over diffusive layering. Using the observed salinity and density differences between Oyashio surface water and the NPIW salinity minimum, after subtracting the density difference ascribed to cabbeling, an effective flux ratio of about 0.8 is estimated for possible double diffusive processes in the MWR.

Talley, LD.  1988.  Potential Vorticity Distribution in the North Pacific. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 18:89-106.   10.1175/1520-0485(1988)018<0089:pvditn>;2   AbstractWebsite

Vertical sections and maps of potential vorticity ρ−1f∂ρ/∂z for the North Pacific are presented. On shallow isopycnals, high potential vorticity is found in the tropics, subpolar gyre, and along the eastern boundary of the subtropical gyre, all associated with Ekman upwelling. Low potential vorticity is found in the western subtropical gyre (subtropical mode water), in a separate patch near the sea surface in the eastern subtropical gyre and extending around the gyre, and near sea-surface outcrops in the subpolar gyre; the last is analogous to the subpolar mode water of the North Atlantic and Southern Ocean.Meridional gradients of potential vorticity are high between the subtropical and subpolar gyres at densities which outcrop only in the subpolar gyre; lateral gradients of potential vorticity are low in large regions of the subtropical gyre on these isopycnals. On slightly denser isopycnals which do not outcrop in the North Pacific, there are large regions of low potential vorticity gradients which cross the subtropical-subpolar gyre boundary. These regions decrease in area with depth and vanish between 2500 and 3000 meters. Regions of low lateral gradients of potential vorticity are surrounded by and overlie regions where the meridional gradient of potential vorticity is approximately β. In the abyssal waters, below 3500 meters, meridional potential vorticity gradients again decrease, perhaps associated with slow geothermal heating. The depth and shape of the region wheel potential vorticity is relatively uniform or possesses closed contours is noted and related to theories of wind-driven circulation.

Talley, LD, Fryer G, Lumpkin R.  1998.  Physical oceanography of the tropical Pacific. Geography of the Pacific Islands. ( Rapaport M, Ed.).:19-32., Honolulu: Bess Press Abstract
Talley, LD, McCartney MS.  1982.  Distribution and Circulation of Labrador Sea-Water. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 12:1189-1205.   10.1175/1520-0485(1982)012<1189:dacols>;2   AbstractWebsite

Labrador Sea Water is the final product of the cyclonic circulation of Subpolar Mode Water in the open northern North Atlantic (McCartney and Talley, 1982). The temperature and salinity of the convectively formed Subpolar Mode Water decrease from 14.7°C, 36.08‰ to 3.4°C, 34.88‰ on account of the cumulative effects of excess precipitation and cooling. The coldest Mode Water is Labrador Sea Water, which spreads at mid-depths and is found throughout the North Atlantic Ocean north of 40°N and along its western boundary to 18°N.A vertical minimum in potential vorticity is used as the primary tracer for Labrador Sea Water. Labrador Sea Water is advected in three main directions out of the Labrador Sea: 1) northeastward into the Irminger Sea, 2) southeastward across the Atlantic beneath the North Atlantic current, and 3) southward past Newfoundland with the Labrador Current and thence westward into the Slope Water region, crossing under the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras.The Labrador Sea Water core is nearly coincident with an isopycnal which also intersects the lower part of the Mediterranean Water, whose high salinity and high potential vorticity balance the low salinity and low potential vorticity of the Labrador Sea Water. Nearly isopycnal mixing between them produces the upper part of the North Atlantic Deep Water.A 27-year data set from the Labrador Sea at Ocean Weather Station Bravo shows decade-long changes in the temperature, salinity, density and formation rate of Labrador Sea Water, indicating that Labrador Sea Water property distributions away from the Labrador Sea are in part due to changes in the source.

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.

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.

Talley, L, Fine R, Lumpkin R, Maximenko N, Morrow R.  2010.  Surface Ventilation and Circulation. Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society. 1( Hall J, Harrison DE, Stammer D, Eds.).   10.5270/OceanObs09.pp.38   Abstract
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.