Zhengyu Liu


Quasi-geostrophic theory is used to study the effect of a continental slope on the Western Boundary Layer. The compression of the vortex tubes by the slope results in a strong northward boundary current called the Continental Slope Boundary Current (hereafter CSBC). On the β-plane, for a reasonably high slope, we find a strong barotropic recirculation which enhances the total transport of the Western Boundary Current significantly. The two-layer model further shows that the CSBC is trapped in the lower layer. In oceans with very deep lower layers, the CSBC transport increases dramatically. Consequently, even for a very weak lower layer incoming flow, we can still have a very strong barotropic CSBC transport compared to the Inertial Boundary Current. Additionally, for an ocean with a very deep lower layer, we can always have comparable total transport in both layers even when the lower layer incoming flow is very weak.