On the Patterns of Wind-Power Input to the Ocean Circulation.
Julien Le sommer (équipe MEOM).
Pathways of wind-power input into the ocean general circulation are
analyzed using Ekman theory. Direct rates of wind-work can be
calculated through the wind stress acting on the surface geostrophic
flow. But because that energy is transported laterally in the Ekman
layer, the injection into the geostrophic interior is actually
controlled by Ekman pumping, with a pattern determined by the
wind-curl rather than the wind itself. An interpretation of the
wind-power input to the interior is proposed, corresponding to the
work done by the Ekman pumping against the surface elevation pressure,
helping to maintain the observed anomaly of sea surface height
relative to the global-mean sea level.