Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-2007
08 Jul 2024
 | 08 Jul 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

The formation and ventilation of an Oxygen Minimum Zone in a simple model for latitudinally alternating zonal jets

Eike E. Köhn, Richard J. Greatbatch, Peter Brandt, and Martin Claus

Abstract. An advection-diffusion model coupled to a simple dynamical ocean model is used to illustrate the formation and ventilation of an oxygen minimum zone. The advection-diffusion model carries a tracer mimicking oxygen, and the dynamical model is a non-linear 1 ½ layer reduced-gravity model. The latter is forced by an annually oscillating mass flux confined to the near-equatorial band that, in turn, leads to the generation of mesoscale eddies and latitudinally alternating zonal jets at higher latitudes. The model uses North Atlantic geometry and develops a tracer minimum zone remarkably similar in location to the observed oxygen minimum zone in the Eastern Tropical North Atlantic (ETNA). This is despite the absence of wind forcing and the shadow zone predicted by the ventilated thermocline theory. Although the model is forced only at the annual period, the model nevertheless exhibits decadal and multidecadal variability in its spun-up state. The associated trends are comparable to observed trends in oxygen within the ETNA oxygen minimum zone. Notable exceptions are the multi-decadal decrease in oxygen in the lower oxygen minimum zone, and the sharp decrease in oxygen in the upper oxygen minimum zone between 2006 and 2013.

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Eike E. Köhn, Richard J. Greatbatch, Peter Brandt, and Martin Claus

Status: open (until 02 Sep 2024)

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Eike E. Köhn, Richard J. Greatbatch, Peter Brandt, and Martin Claus
Eike E. Köhn, Richard J. Greatbatch, Peter Brandt, and Martin Claus

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Short summary
A ubiquitous feature of the ocean is the latitudinally alternating zonal jets. We use a simple model to illustrate the potential role of these jets in the formation, maintenance and multidecadal variability of the oxygen minimum zones, using the tropical North Atlantic as an example.