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Mode water formation has long been treated as a buoyancy flux problem; however this approach fails to explain all of the variability of mode water. A number of different approaches have been demonstrated to explain more of this variability, such as links to North Atlantic Oscillation and the Gulf Stream position. These help to add to knowledge of mode water but it is still poorly understood. According to the impermeability theorem, the potential vorticity should be largely driven at the surface. In addition to this we take new approach to PV surface forcing suggested by Thomas that the PV loss is due to both buoyancy and momentum flux at the surface. The question of the relative roles of these two processes within a numerical model is addressed. It is determined that for the models mode water the buoyancy flux is the dominant cause of PV loss from the ocean and is roughly 4 times greater in magnitude that the momentum flux in the mean.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Oceanography in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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