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Monday, April 15, 2013
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg. 215)


KAC Lecture: The Structure of the Oceanic Thermocline and the Equatorial Undercurrent

Joe Pedlosky
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The thermal structure of the upper 1 or 2 kilometers of the ocean is determined by largely dynamical processes. The signal of the surface heating is limited to this region and the circulation associated with the driving action of the surface winds is also manifested in this vertically restricted region called the thermocline. A theory for the oceanic gyres and the associated thermocline shape is given which explains some surprising features such as the presence of cold water closer to the surface in the tropics than in mid-latitudes. The same theory, properly extended to the equatorial regions is also capable of explaining the existence of equatorial undercurrents, which flow like straight ribbons along the equator in a direction opposite to the surface winds.

Host: Bob Ecke, T-CNLS