Journal article

Ocean Gyres Driven by Surface Buoyancy Forcing

Andrew McC Hogg, Bishakhdatta Gayen

Geophysical Research Letters | American Geophysical Union (AGU) | Published : 2020


Midlatitude gyres in the ocean are large‐scale horizontal circulations that are intensified on the western boundary of the ocean, giving rise to currents such as the Gulf Stream. The physical mechanism underlying gyres is widely recognized to involve the curl of the wind stress, which injects potential vorticity into the upper ocean. However, model results have highlighted the role of surface buoyancy fluxes (principally heating and cooling of the ocean surface) in driving circulation and enhancing gyre variability. Here we present two numerical simulations—one in the fully turbulent regime and the second an eddy‐permitting ocean model—which show that gyre‐like circulation can be driven by s..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by RJL Hawke Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank Ross Griffiths, Michael Roderick, Matthew England, and Nerilie Abram for their comments on this paper. This research was funded by Australian Research Council Grant DP140103706. B. G. was supported by RJL Hawke Fellowship AAS 4422 and ARC Future Fellowship (FT180100037). This research was undertaken with the assistance of resources and services from the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), which is supported by the Australian Government. This manuscript is based on output from high-resolution numerical models; processed output to support the analysis is published with doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3768500. We appreciate the contributions of 3 anonymous reviewers in improving this manuscript.