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Wednesday, June 04, 2008
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Wave-induced deep equatorial ocean circulation

Francois Ascani
University of Hawaii

A complex deep mean east-west circulation spans the Pacific and Atlantic equatorial oceans from below the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) down to about 2500 m, with typical velocities ranging from 5 to 20 cm/s.� It is composed of large-vertical-scale (500-1500 m) currents alternating with latitude, the Tall Equatorial Jets (TEJs), and currents centered at the equator and alternating with depth with a vertical wavelength of 300-600 m, the Equatorial Deep Jets (EDJs).� These currents pose a theoretical challenge and have not been reproduced satisfactorily in Ocean General Circulation Models.

In the present study, using idealized numerical simulations and analytical solutions, we demonstrate that the TEJs could result from a rectification of monthly-periodic equatorial waves that are generated by instabilities of the swift surface equatorial currents.

Host: Mark Petersen, CCS-2