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Vertical alignment of the Gulf Stream

AuthorsRatsimandresy, A. W.; Pelegrí, Josep Lluís
Issue Date2005
PublisherInternational Meteorological Institute in Stockholm
CitationTellus, Series A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography 57(4): 691-700 (2005)
AbstractA historical set of expendable bathythermograph (XBT) and Pegasus sections across the Gulf Stream in natural coordinates is examined to investigate the isopycnic structure of the current off Cape Hatteras. In isopycnic-natural coordinates, the axis of the Stream remains vertically aligned, in contrast to its well-known offshore tilting when plotted as a function of depth. These results are confirmed using the geostrophic velocities obtained from a synthetic temperature field for the Gulf Stream. We prove that a baroclinic current aligned with density cannot be aligned with depth, and vice versa, and we show that the density alignment of the Gulf Stream results from the distortion of the density field and has negligible dependence on the choice of reference level. The invariable character of intense geophysical jets is supported through analogous representations for the upper level atmospheric jet stream in isentropic coordinates. These show that the atmospheric jet, when plotted on to a section normal to the direction of its maximum velocity core, is vertically aligned with potential temperature. Copyright © Blackwell Munksgaard, 2005
Description10 pages, 10 figures
Publisher version (URL)https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2005.00115.x
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/j.1600-0870.2005.00115.x
issn: 0280-6495
e-issn: 1600-0870
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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