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Cross-Equatorial Flow of Grounded Abyssal Ocean Currents

  • Author / Creator
    Kim, Alexander
  • An idealized process study is presented describing the cross-equatorial flow of grounded abyssal ocean currents in a differentially-rotating meridional channel with parabolic bottom topography. In particular we fully examine the dependence of the cross-equatorial volume flux on the underlying flow parameters including slope of the channel's walls (s), half-width of the channel (l), width and height of the abyssal current (a and H), magnitude of the rotation vector (Omega), Earth's radius (R) and reduced gravity (g'). We determined that the ratio between the width of the channel and the zonal wavelength of a narrow wave structure that is formed by the current in the equatorial region plays a crucial role in determining into which hemisphere the current flows after its interaction with the equator. It is found that some parameters (a and H) do not have any significant effect on the zonal wavelength, while variations in other parameters (s, Omega, R and g') change the zonal wavelength and, consequently, the behaviour of the abyssal current. After examining an auxiliary model of a particle in a rotating channel, we derived a combination of these parameters called the Rhines scale and the zonal wavelength is found to be linearly proportional to this scale.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R32V2CJ8F
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Physics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Swaters, Gordon (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences)
    • Sutherland, Bruce (Physics, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Bush, Andrew (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
    • Myers, Paul (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
    • Dumberry, Mathieu (Physics)