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Bifurcation structure of thermohaline millennial oscillations

Bifurcation structure of thermohaline millennial oscillations
Bifurcation structure of thermohaline millennial oscillations
The question of the generation of millennial oscillations by internal ocean dynamics is studied through deliberate use of the simplest geometry and surface forcing, namely a hemispheric ocean with time- independent mixed boundary conditions (autonomous system). The lowest-order model that supports free oscillations has three horizontal and two vertical boxes. The essential ingredients permitting the existence of the oscillations are turbulent mixing and freshwater forcing. The finite amplitude oscillations share the advective–convective–diffusive characteristics of neighboring stable thermal and haline steady states. There are limits to the quantity of precipitation in polar regions for the existence of oscillatory states. When the freshwater forcing amplitude is increased, the system evolves from a stable thermal state through a global bifurcation to a finite amplitude limit cycle. The period of the limit cycle remains constant when freshwater is increased until at a second global bifurcation it becomes infinite with a logarithmic behavior characteristic of a homoclinic bifurcation. For still higher values of freshwater, the system locks into the stable haline steady state. These results are confirmed through the use of a two-dimensional latitude–depth model. A sensitivity study carried out with the latter shows that the period (away from the logarithmic singularity) varies as (vertical mixing)
bifurcation structure, thermohaline oscillations, boundary conditions, freshwater forcing, turbulent mixing
0894-8755
5777-5795
Colin de Verdière, A.
4f5730b5-141b-40f2-8971-adb648fa5755
Ben Jellloul, M.
ace2f45f-98e0-4c03-ac34-dc925586c080
Sévellec, F.
01569d6c-65b0-4270-af2a-35b0a77c9140
Colin de Verdière, A.
4f5730b5-141b-40f2-8971-adb648fa5755
Ben Jellloul, M.
ace2f45f-98e0-4c03-ac34-dc925586c080
Sévellec, F.
01569d6c-65b0-4270-af2a-35b0a77c9140

Colin de Verdière, A., Ben Jellloul, M. and Sévellec, F. (2006) Bifurcation structure of thermohaline millennial oscillations. Journal of Climate, 19 (22), 5777-5795. (doi:10.1175/JCLI3950.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The question of the generation of millennial oscillations by internal ocean dynamics is studied through deliberate use of the simplest geometry and surface forcing, namely a hemispheric ocean with time- independent mixed boundary conditions (autonomous system). The lowest-order model that supports free oscillations has three horizontal and two vertical boxes. The essential ingredients permitting the existence of the oscillations are turbulent mixing and freshwater forcing. The finite amplitude oscillations share the advective–convective–diffusive characteristics of neighboring stable thermal and haline steady states. There are limits to the quantity of precipitation in polar regions for the existence of oscillatory states. When the freshwater forcing amplitude is increased, the system evolves from a stable thermal state through a global bifurcation to a finite amplitude limit cycle. The period of the limit cycle remains constant when freshwater is increased until at a second global bifurcation it becomes infinite with a logarithmic behavior characteristic of a homoclinic bifurcation. For still higher values of freshwater, the system locks into the stable haline steady state. These results are confirmed through the use of a two-dimensional latitude–depth model. A sensitivity study carried out with the latter shows that the period (away from the logarithmic singularity) varies as (vertical mixing)

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Published date: November 2006
Keywords: bifurcation structure, thermohaline oscillations, boundary conditions, freshwater forcing, turbulent mixing
Organisations: Physical Oceanography

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 339730
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/339730
ISSN: 0894-8755
PURE UUID: f9922b32-d77f-4793-9e55-acbca4045b18

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Date deposited: 29 May 2012 16:21
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 22:02

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