The shape of the main thermocline, revisited

Citation:
Salmon, R.  2010.  The shape of the main thermocline, revisited. Journal of Marine Research. 68:541-568.

Date Published:

May-Jul

Keywords:

circulation, equations, equilibrium statistical-mechanics, flow, ocean, shallow-water model, topography

Abstract:

Using the Monte Carlo method of statistical physics, we compute the equilibrium statistical mechanics of the shallow water equations, considered as a reduced-gravity model of the ocean's upper layer in a square ocean that spans the equator. The ensemble-averaged flow comprises a westward drift at low latitudes, associated with the poleward deepening of the main thermocline, and a more intense compensating eastward flow near the latitudes at which the layer depth vanishes. Inviscid numerical simulations with a model that exactly conserves mass, energy, and potential enstrophy support the theoretical prediction.

Notes:

n/a

Website

DOI:

10.1357/002224010794657182