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The fate of Mediterranean Outflow Water in the North Atlantic and its mixing with Labrador Sea Water

Authorsvan Sebille, E.; Marsh, Robert; McCarthy, Gerard; Peña-Izquierdo, Jesús ; Pelegrí, Josep Lluís
Issue Date21-Jul-2015
CitationRAPID - US AMOC International Science Meeting (2015)
AbstractMediterranean Outflow Water spreads into the North Atlantic Ocean below the thermocline, forming a tongue that slowly moves westward until it reaches the North American coast. Meanwhile, Labrador Sea Water formed at high latitudes in the North Atlantic flows southward along the American coast in the Deep Western Boundary Current, and flows on similar density levels as the Mediterranean Outflow Water. The two water masses mix at some point, to jointly cross the Equator in the Deep Western Boundary Current. The question is how and where this mixing happens. In particularly, it is unclear how variability in the strength of formation the two water mass relates and impacts on the southward export of mid-depth water. This is important because, while the two water masses have the same density, they have vastly different temperature and salinity properties. Better knowledge of the mixing processes will allow for an improved understanding of AMOC dynamics. Here, we show results from eddy-resolving models where we track the water flowing from both the southern tip of the Labrador Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar, using virtual Lagrangian particles. We analyse the trajectories of these particles to see where and how the two water masses mix, and reconcile this with information on the modeled and observed salinity field in the North Atlantic. We show what the role of meso-scale eddies is, and how the interaction of the two water masses ultimately sets the thermohaline structure of the mid-depth North Atlantic Ocean
DescriptionRAPID - US AMOC International Science Meeting, Towards a holistic picture of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation : Via observation modelling and synthesis, 21-24 July 2015, Bristol, U.K.
Publisher version (URL)http://www.rapid.ac.uk/ic15/abstract_preview.php
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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