SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

[1] The extratropical sources of equatorial undercurrent (EUC) water have been identified for an ocean circulation model using Lagrangian trajectory analysis. It has been found that the EUC waters emenate from a wide range of latitudes in the Pacific basin, with its densest constituent watermass being Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) from 50°S. Further analysis of the basin-scale circulation fields has revealed significant advective diapycnal mass fluxes associated with intergyre exchange. As a result of these diapycnal mass fluxes, the EUC transport as a function of density at 151°W (an Eulerian diagnostic) looks quite different from the original subduction rate as a function of density for the same collection of water particles. This implicates diapycnal vertical mixing as an important player in determining the preferred density horizon of maximum EUC transport along the equator. In summary, these results illustrate an important interdependence between advective and diapycnal mixing processes associated with basin-scale inter-gyre and inter-basin exchange in determining the mean equatorial stratification and EUC structure.