The problem of Gulf Stream separation: a barotropic approach

Dengg, Joachim (1993) The problem of Gulf Stream separation: a barotropic approach Journal of Physical Oceanography, 23 . pp. 2182-2200. DOI 10.1175/1520-0485(1993)023<2182:TPOGSS>2.0.CO;2.

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Abstract

Inertial separation of a western boundary current from an idealized continent is studied in a homogeneous ocean circulation model. A number of processes are identified that either encourage or prevent separation at a coastal promontory in this model. For a single-gyre wind forcing a free-slip boundary condition forces the stream to follow the coastline, whereas the no-slip condition allows separation at a sharp corner. A prescribed countergyre to the north of the stream is not necessary to achieve separation if the no-slip condition is used. "Premature" separation occurs for wind fields that do not extend beyond the latitude of the cape. For a more realistic wind field and coastline two distinct states of the stream are found. At small Reynolds numbers the current fails to separate and develops a stationary anticyclonic meander north of the cape. Stronger currents separate and drive a recirculation in the lee of the continent.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1175/1520-0485(1993)023<2182:TPOGSS>2.0.CO;2
ISSN: 0022-3670
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:27
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2013 13:22
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/2607

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