Getzlaff, K., Boening, C.W. and Dengg, J.
Lagrangian perspectives of deep water export from the subpolar North Atlantic.
Geophysical Research Letters, 33, (21), . (doi:10.1029/2006GL026470).
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Direct observations at the Grand Banks have raised a quandary concerning the pathways of the lower branch of the meridional overturning circulation: In contrast to moored current meters that depict an intense, narrow Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC), observations using different float types failed to show this continuous export path. Here, this issue is addressed by a Lagrangian analysis of synthetic particles in an eddy-resolving circulation model. Due to intense eddy activity around the Grand Banks, about 40% of the deep water in the DWBC is diverted into the interior, spreading southward along the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge or with the eddying flow field in the basin interior. Imposing constraints on the vertical displacements of particles similar to those experienced by observational floats further reduces their adherence to the DWBC, particularly near the southern tip of the Grand Banks.
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