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The effect of a new drag-law parameterization on ice shelf water plume dynamics

Wilchinsky, A. V., Feltham, D.L. and Holland, P. R. (2007) The effect of a new drag-law parameterization on ice shelf water plume dynamics. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 37 (7). pp. 1778-1792. ISSN 0022-3670

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/JPO3093.1

Abstract/Summary

A drag law accounting for Ekman rotation adjacent to a flat, horizontal bou ndary is proposed for use in a plume model that is written in terms of the depth-mean velocity. The drag l aw contains a variable turning angle between the mean velocity and the drag imposed by the turbulent bound ary layer. The effect of the variable turning angle in the drag law is studied for a plume of ice shelf wat er (ISW) ascending and turning beneath an Antarctic ice shelf with draft decreasing away from the groundi ng line. As the ISW plume ascends the sloping ice shelf–ocean boundary, it can melt the ice shelf, wh ich alters the buoyancy forcing driving the plume motion. Under these conditions, the typical turning ang le is of order 10° over most of the plume area for a range of drag coefficients (the minus sign arises for th e Southern Hemisphere). The rotation of the drag with respect to the mean velocity is found to be signifi cant if the drag coefficient exceeds 0.003; in this case the plume body propagates farther along and across the b ase of the ice shelf than a plume with the standard quadratic drag law with no turning angle.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:35314
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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