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Wave-induced abyssal recirculations: turning this way and that way
Spall, M.A. (1994). Wave-induced abyssal recirculations: turning this way and that way. Oceanus 37(1): 26-28
In: Oceanus. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: Woods Hole, Mass.,. ISSN 0029-8182, more

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  • Spall, M.A.

    It is generally believed that deep-ocean circulation plays a fundamental role in the global climate system. The abyssal circulation transports cold, fresh water formed at high latitudes toward the mid and low latitudes, where it upwells to maintain the main thermocline (a region of rapid decrease in temperature with depth) in the presence of downward heat diffusion. This is thought to be accomplished through a complex pattern of boundary currents and interior flows, although the dynamics, and even the paths, of these flows are not well understood. The traditional view of abyssal circulation stems from Henry Stommel's late 1950s and early 1960s theoretical work, which assumes that deep waters are formed in very small regions at high latitudes and uniformly upwell throughout the lower latitudes into the upper ocean. This simple model predicted that a series of deep western boundary currents in the world's ocean basins would carry the waters away from their regions of formation, and that the basin interiors would be characterized by very weak poleward flow.

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