Publication Abstracts

Terenzi and Hall 2010

Terenzi, F., and T.M. Hall, 2010: Idealized tracer transport models with time-varying transport: Applications to ocean boundary-currents. Environ. Fluid Mech., 10, 235-255, doi:10.1007/s10652-009-9135-6.

One-dimensional advection-diffusion and advection-diffusion-dilution (or "leaky-pipe") models have been widely used to interpret a variety of geophysical phenomena. For example, in the ocean these tools have been used to interpret the penetration and spreading of tracers such as CFCs along the Deep Western boundary-current (DWBC). Usually, the transport coeffcients of such models are taken to be constant in time, thus assuming the transport to be in steady-state. Here, we relax this assumption and calculate tracer-signal variability in two simple 1D models for the boundary-current having low-amplitude time-varying coeffcients. Given a background tracer gradient due, for example, to a steady state source in a boundary region, the resulting tracer field exhibits fluctuations due to the transport acting on the gradients. We compare the transport-induced tracer fluctuations to propagated fluctuations occurring in steady-state models with a periodic source in the boundary region. Using coeffcients fit to DWBC tracer observations we find that in the North-Atlantic propagated tracer fluctuations are larger but by the sub-tropics transport-induced fluctuations dominate. This contrasts a common view that subtropical and tropical DWBC fluctuations in tracers such as CFCs, temperature and salinity are propagated signals from the northern formation region. However, the predicted transport-induced fluctuations in these models are still smaller than the observed fluctuations.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Terenzi, F. and Hall, T. M.},
  title={Idealized tracer transport models with time-varying transport: Applications to ocean boundary-currents},
  journal={Environ. Fluid Mech.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - te03100m
AU  - Terenzi, F.
AU  - Hall, T. M.
PY  - 2010
TI  - Idealized tracer transport models with time-varying transport: Applications to ocean boundary-currents
JA  - Environ. Fluid Mech.
VL  - 10
SP  - 235
EP  - 255
DO  - 10.1007/s10652-009-9135-6
ER  -

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