Interannual Variations of Volume Transport in the Western Labrador Sea Based on TOPEX/Poseidon and WOCE Data

Han, Guoqi and Tang, C. L. (2001) Interannual Variations of Volume Transport in the Western Labrador Sea Based on TOPEX/Poseidon and WOCE Data. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 31 (1). pp. 199-211. ISSN 1520-0485

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Abstract

The interannual variations of volume transport in the western Labrador Sea are estimated using six years of TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data and hydrographic data from a WOCE repeat section and a method based on the linear momentum equation in which the sea surface is the level of known motion. The interannual variation of the total transport in spring/summer has a range of 6.2 Sv (Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) and is positively correlated with the fall/winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and wind patterns in the northwest North Atlantic. The total transport anomaly is decomposed into a barotropic and a baroclinic component. The interannual change of the barotropic transport is similar to that of the total transport, and is positively correlated with the fall/winter NAO index. The baroclinic transport anomaly, in comparison, has a smaller magnitude and the opposite sign. The authors conjecture that the deepened Icelandic low in high index years generates a strong cyclonic wind stress curl, which in turn creates a strong divergence and a large upward sea surface slope toward the Greenland coast, resulting in an intensified Labrador Sea circulation.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1889
Item ID: 1889
Department(s): Memorial University Affiliates > Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Science, Faculty of > Physics and Physical Oceanography
Date: January 2001
Date Type: Publication
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