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The deep circulation of the Faroe-Shetland channel: opposing flows and topographic eddies

Broadbridge, M. B. and Toumi, R. (2015) The deep circulation of the Faroe-Shetland channel: opposing flows and topographic eddies. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 120 (9). pp. 5983-5996. ISSN 21699275

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2015JC010833


New insights into the deep circulation of the Faroe-Shetland channel are gained from a high- resolution regional ocean model. The simulation shows a more complex structure of the deep flow field than previously thought: a flow reversal of the deep and intermediate waters to the northeast on the Faro- ese flank of the channel and persistent topographic eddies that force the deep currents into a gyre-like structure. This flow reversal opposes the previously accepted understanding of a purely southwestward deep flow but is in agreement with velocity measurements. The southwestward transport of the overflow waters is found to be facilitated almost exclusively by a strong and narrow current on the Shetland side of the channel. Float release experiments show that up to 38% of the overflow water takes longer than a purely southwestward flow regime suggests and up to 13% takes twice as long. From the release of tracers, a substantial amount of lateral mixing is evident within the channel, predominantly facilitated by the topo- graphic eddies.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:68218
Publisher:AGU Publications


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