Observations and mechanisms for the formation of deep equatorial and tropical circulation

Type Article
Date 2019-03
Language English
Author(s) Menesguen ClaireORCID1, Delpech Audrey2, Marin Frederic2, Cravatte Sophie2, Schopp Richard1, 3, Morel Yves2, 3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale UMR 6523 CNRS-Ifremer-IRD-UBO, France
2 : LEGOS, Université de Toulouse, CNES, CNRS, IRD, Toulouse, France
Source Earth And Space Science (2333-5084) (John Wiley & Sons), 2019-03 , Vol. 6 , N. 3 , P. 370-386
DOI 10.1029/2018EA000438
WOS© Times Cited 22
Keyword(s) deep equatorial circulation, deep tropical circulation, zonal jets

The Intermediate and Deep Equatorial and Tropical Circulations (DEC and DTC) consist of a complex system of zonal jets. This paper attempts at unifying existing observations and theories to present our current understanding of this jets system.

Recent in‐situ observations suggesting a continuity between DEC and DTC are confronted against the various generation mechanisms that have been proposed in the literature. The key notion to differentiate these previous studies lies in the so‐called "cascade of mechanisms", i.e. the energy pathway and equilibration processes chain that lead to the jets from their initial energy source.

Many studies see the Deep Equatorial Intra‐seasonal Variability (DEIV) as the initial energy source, highlighting its key role in energizing the DEC and DTC. However, critical gaps remain in this cascade of mechanisms and limit substantially our ability to represent the jets in Ocean Global Circulation Models. This paper aims at identifying such gaps and propose future research directions.

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