loading page

Locally modified winds regulate North Sea circulation
  • +2
  • Anıl Akpınar,
  • Matthew R. Palmer,
  • Mark E Inall,
  • Barbara Berx,
  • Jeff A. Polton
Anıl Akpınar
National Oceanography Centre, National Oceanography Centre

Corresponding Author:akpinar.anil@gmail.com

Author Profile
Matthew R. Palmer
National Oceanography Centre, National Oceanography Centre
Author Profile
Mark E Inall
Scottish Association For Marine Science, Scottish Association For Marine Science
Author Profile
Barbara Berx
Marine Scotland Science, Marine Scotland Science
Author Profile
Jeff A. Polton
National Oceanography Centre, National Oceanography Centre
Author Profile


Wind driven circulation in the North Sea is revisited with a specific focus on locally modified winds and their impacts. We show for the first time that local extrema of the wind stress curl (WSC), generated by orography and ocean-atmosphere interactions, help regulate circulation in the northern North Sea. Calculated transports are strongly coupled with wind stress, whereas transports through the Norwegian Trench are more strongly correlated with the WSC field due to local extrema. Such WSC extrema regulates the sub-mesoscale eddy activity around the Norwegian Trench. We conclude that local modification of the WSC is a result of both orography and ocean-atmosphere interaction along the frontal Norwegian coastline. Our results show that local winds are more important than previously documented, with important implications for regional circulation likely to result from future changes to local surface gradients, such as may arise from changing meteorological or hydro-climatic forcing.
Mar 2022Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans volume 127 issue 3. 10.1029/2021JC018248