XIA Ruibin, LIU Chengyan, CHENG Chen. On the subtropical Northeast Pacific mixed layer depth and its influence on the subduction[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2018, 37(3): 51-62. doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-1102-3
Citation: XIA Ruibin, LIU Chengyan, CHENG Chen. On the subtropical Northeast Pacific mixed layer depth and its influence on the subduction[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2018, 37(3): 51-62. doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-1102-3

On the subtropical Northeast Pacific mixed layer depth and its influence on the subduction

doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-1102-3
  • Received Date: 2017-06-04
  • The present climate simulations of the mixed layer depth (MLD) and the subduction rate in the subtropical Northeast Pacific are investigated based on nine of the CMIP5 models. Compared with the observation data, spatial patterns of the MLD and the subduction rate are well simulated in these models. The spatial pattern of the MLD is nonuniform, with a local maximum MLD (>140 m) region centered at (28°N, 135°W) in late winter. The nonuniform MLD pattern causes a strong MLD front on the south of the MLD maximum region, controls the lateral induction rate pattern, and then decides the nonuniform distribution of the subduction rate. Due to the inter-regional difference of the MLD, we divide this area into two regions. The relatively uniform Ekman pumping has little effect on the nonuniform subduction spatial pattern, though it is nearly equal to the lateral induction in values. In the south region, the northward warm Ekman advection (-1.75×10-7 K/s) controls the ocean horizontal temperature advection (-0.85×10-7 K/s), and prevents the deepening of the MLD. In the ensemble mean, the contribution of the ocean advection to the MLD is about -29.0 m/month, offsetting the sea surface net heat flux contribution (33.9 m/month). While in the north region, the southward cold advection deepens the MLD (21.4 m/month) as similar as the heat flux (30.4 m/month). In conclusion, the nonuniform MLD pattern is dominated by the nonuniform ocean horizontal temperature advection. This new finding indicates that the upper ocean current play an important role in the variability of the winter MLD and the subduction rate.
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