The usefulness of the concept of JEBAR, the joint effect of baroclinicity and relief, in large-scale ocean dynamics is critically analyzed. The authors address two questions. Does the JEBAR term properly characterize the joint impact of stratification and bottom topography on the ocean circulation? Do estimates of the JEBAR term from observational data allow reliable diagnostic calculations? The authors give a negative answer to the first question. The JEBAR term need not give a true measure of the effect of bottom relief in a stratified ocean. A simple two-layer model provides examples. As to the second question, it is demonstrated that the large-scale pattern of the transport streamfunction is captured by the smoothed solution, especially with the Mellor et al. formulation of the JEBAR term. However, the calculated velocity field is very noisy and the relative errors are large.
Journal of Physical Oceanography
Cane, M. A.,
Kamenkovich, V. M.,
(1998). On the Utility and Disutility of JEBAR. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 28(3), 519-526.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/4922