An eastward flow at lower middle latitudes derived from a three-layer model of a wind-driven ocean circulation
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The steady state wind-driven circulation in an immiscible three-layer ocean bounded only by a meridional east coast and a flat bottom is studied. Particular attention is paid to the occurrence of internal modes of motions in the Sverdrup transports (Sverdrup, 1947). The thicknesses of the upper two layers are of the same order and are allowed to vary up to the same order as the layer thicknesses themselves. Frictional transfer of momentum across the interfaces and the frictional boundary layer at the east coast are neglected. An eastward flow is obtained in the uppermost layer at lower middle latitudes. Though the particular feature in the wind-stress distribution as revealed byYoshida andKidokoro (1967a, 1967b) is not taken into account, the results show good agreement with the observed flow pattern of the Subtropical Countercurrent. Beneath the Subtropical Countercurrent a westward flow is predicted. These flows exhibit an internal mode of motions associated with a subsurface thermal front.
KeywordsWind Stress Internal Mode Ekman Layer Lower Interface Meridional Section
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