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How does the baroclinic vertical modes relate to Rossby waves observed by altimetric satellites?

Grant number: 19/13830-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): July 20, 2019
Effective date (End): September 29, 2019
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography
Principal Investigator:Paulo Simionatto Polito
Grantee:Mariana Miracca Lage
Supervisor abroad: Jordi Isern-Fontanet
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:19/02968-9 - Baroclinic rossby waves and the South Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, BP.MS

Abstract

Rossby waves play a key role in large-scale circulation, controlling the western boundary currents. In a baroclinic model they are prone to variability when changes in stratification occurs. In the present study these waves were identified at 11\oS, 24.5\oS~and 34.5\oS~in Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. We noted that waves' amplitude varied significantly among the three basins, and we propose that stratification might play an important role on this difference. Brunt-Väisälä frequencies were calculated as a function of depth at these latitudes, and differences between ocean basins were observed. Vertical mode decomposition was done to characterize waves vertically to relate the surface signal with the water column. In this context, the main idea is to compare the vertical modes obtained by tradicional quasi-geostrophic modes to the surface quasi-geostrophic (SQG) solutions, to assess which signal the altimeter is representing. Therefore, our intention is to assess the role played by stratification in the amplitude of Rossby waves, comparing data from the three ocean basins at the above mentioned latitudes. Besides that, we aim to see if there is any significant contribution of the energy transported by groups of these waves to the western boundary current at the South Atlantic Ocean.