In this paper, continuation methods are used to study fundamental problems in physical oceanography. Simulating the mean path and variability of the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic, for example, is a long standing problem in dynamical oceanography. State-of-the-art ocean models still have trouble to simulate the correct mean path, while the physical processes causing the variability of the flow are not yet fully understood. Since changes in the currents can induce significant changes in the poleward heat transport by the oceans, this is an important issue in climate research. Bifurcation analysis in models of intermediate complexity, as used here, shows that there may be two mean paths at the same forcing conditions. By studying the stability of steady circulation patterns in two different ocean models, also transitions to time-dependence are found, which may well be related to observed variability in the Gulf Stream region.
CA Katsman, HA Dijkstra, MJ Schmeits. Applications of continuation methods in physical oceanography
Conference: Continuation methods in Fluid Dynamics. ERCOFTAC/, Organisation: Notes on Numerical Fluid mecha, First page: 155, Last page: 166