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Persistence of the large-scale interior deep ocean circulation in global repeat hydrographic sections
  • Susan L. Hautala,
  • Garrett Finucane
Susan L. Hautala
School of Oceanography

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Garrett Finucane
University of California Los Angeles
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An assumption of steady-state is a common basis for deep ocean circulation theory and observational strategies. We use GO-SHIP’s Easy Ocean uniformly gridded CTD data from repeat hydrographic sections to test this assumption. In particular, we ask: for what regions of the world ocean is there evidence that the planetary scale deep geostrophic shear and potential vorticity fields, related to potential density gradients, are in quasi steady-state over the past forty years? We find that away from boundary currents, planetary-scale potential density gradients in most parts of the deep ocean are stable from occupation to occupation, to within approximately 15% estimated standard error (lower in many parts of the global ocean interior), with higher variability in a few expected regions and for shorter sections.