Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Renewable Natural Resources

First Advisor

William J. Wiseman, Jr


A 'slowly varying' and 'isolated' oceanic disturbance may locally drive the shelf circulation. This situation is analytically studied using a linear, steady-state, barotropic model. The solution has a dipolar structure over the shelf. This is consistent with an integral theorem of zero net relative angular momentum on the f-plane with a sloping topography, derived herein. It is found that the forced circulation patterns are controlled by the alongshore scale of the disturbance, magnitude of bottom stress, and geometry of the shelf. In particular, by generating significant relative vorticity due to the ageostrophic motion, the friction strongly influences the center position, the strength, and the size of the forced shelf motion. When large alongshore topographic variations are present, the combined effect of the friction and shelf curvature results in an asymmetry of the pressure field, with an intensified motion inshore.