MODELLING STUDIES OF EXOPLANETARY OCEANS

Cullum, Jodie (2018) MODELLING STUDIES OF EXOPLANETARY OCEANS. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

The ocean plays a key role in the climate of Earth, and it is therefore expected that any oceans present on an exoplanet would also be a crucial component of the climate system and hence have implications for the habitability of the planet. However, many planetary and oceanic properties cannot be assumed to be the same on an exoplanet as on Earth, and therefore the behaviour of the ocean cannot be assumed.

Here, basic land configurations are explored and a single meridional barrier is used throughout the other experiments, as this is the simplest configuration of any substantial land mass. The effect of ocean salinity, at a level both higher and lower than on Earth, is explored for the first time and reversal of the Earth-like meridional overturning circulation is found. The proportionality between mean salinity and salinity gradients in the ocean is established. The impact of planetary rotation period is also investigated, and it is concluded that a longer rotation period results in a greater poleward ocean heat transport, with the additional novel conclusions of a shallower thermocline depth, increased horizontal ocean velocities, and stronger overturning circulation. Finally, existing ocean modelling of a tidally locked configuration is furthered by the addition of different land masses, the extent of the zonal circulation and magnitude of the zonal heat transport is found to have significant dependence on the location of a meridional barrier in the ocean, with resulting dark side mean temperatures varying by over 7˝C.

The modelling presented here highlights the importance of the consideration of the ocean in exoplanetary climate studies, and its role in planetary habitability.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Mathematics
Depositing User: Bruce Beckett
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2018 10:33
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 10:33
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/67833
DOI:

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