Uchiyama, Y. ., UCLA, Los Angeles, USA, uchiyama@atmos.ucla.edu
McWilliams, J. C., UCLA, Los Angeles, USA, jcm@atmos.ucla.edu
Shchepetkin, A. F., UCLA, Los Angeles, USA, alex@atmos.ucla.edu

SUBMESOSCALE INSTABILITY IN SUBTIDAL INNER SHELF CIRCULATION OFF PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA

A new class of submesoscale variability is simulated in a realistic, shelf-scale, high-resolution regional configuration with ROMS (Shchepetkin and McWilliams, 2005) for Palos Verdes (PV) Shelf, California, encompassing Santa Monica Bay (SMB) and San Pedro Bay (SPB). The variability comprises energetic submesoscale eddies detached from the cape PV and “filament” structure visualized by meandering fronts right at the shoreline in both of SMB and SPB. The offshore extent of the filament is computed to be of O(1 km), and it is totally different from a classical view of offshore transport process by rip current, undertow, or shear waves associated with shear instability in longshore currents. Barotropic shear instability within the upwelling zone and baroclinic instability along the fronts are considered to be a key processes in generation of these submesoscale eddies and variability. We will discuss on further mechanism causing the submesoscale filament structure, and its role in cross-shelf mixing that links nearshore littoral dynamics to inner-shelf circulation.

Oral presentation

Presentation is given by student: No
Session #:117
Date: 03-05-2008
Time: 17:00

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