Towards an understanding of Labrador Sea salinity drift in eddy-permitting simulations

Model drift in the Labrador Sea in eddy permitting model simulations is examined using a series of configurations based on the NEMO numerical framework. There are two phases of the drift that we can identify, beginning with an initial rapid 3-year period, associated with the adjustment of the model from its initial conditions followed by an extended model drift/adjustment that continued for at least another decade. The drift controlled the model salinity in the Labrador Sea, over-riding the variability. Thus, during this initial period, similar behavior was observed between the inter-annually forced experiments as with perpetual year forcing. The results also did not depend on whether the configuration was global, or regional North Atlantic Ocean. The inclusion of an explicit sea-ice component did not seem to have a significant impact on the interior drift. Clear cut evidence for the drift having an advective nature was shown, based on two separate currents/flow regimes. We find, as expected, the representation of freshwater in the sub-polar gyre's boundary currents important. But this study also points out another, equally important process and pathway: the input of high salinity mode water from the subtropical North Atlantic. The advective regime is dependent on the details of the model, such as the representation of the freshwater transport in the model's East Greenland Current being very sensitive to the strength of the local sea surface salinity restoring (and the underlying field that the model is being restored to). (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Numerical modelling, Labrador Sea, Model salinity drift, Boundary currents, Eddy-permitting models

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Rattan Sanjay, Myers Paul G., Treguier Anne-Marie, Theetten Sebastien, Biastoch Arne, Boening Claus (2010). Towards an understanding of Labrador Sea salinity drift in eddy-permitting simulations. Ocean Modelling. 35 (1-2). 77-88.,

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