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  • Eddies  (58)
  • American Meteorological Society  (39)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution  (19)
  • MDPI Publishing
  • 1
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2019-03-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography, 49 (2), (2019): 607-630, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-18-0166.1.
    Description: The Lagrangian motion in the eddy field produced from an unstable retrograde jet along the shelf break is studied from idealized numerical experiments with a primitive equation model. The jet is initially in thermal wind balance with a cross-isobath density gradient and is not subjected to any atmospheric forcing. Over the course of the model integration, the jet becomes unstable and produces a quasi-stationary eddy field over a 2-month period. During this period, the cross-slope flow at the shelf break is characterized by along-slope correlation scales of O(10) km and temporal correlation scales of a few days. The relative dispersion of parcels across isobaths is found to increase with time as tb, where 1 〈 b 〈 2. This mixed diffusive–ballistic regime appears to reflect the combined effects of (i) the short length scales of velocity correlation at the shelf break and (ii) the seaward excursion of monopolar and dipolar vortices. Cross-slope dispersion is greater offshore of the front than inshore of the front, as offshore parcels are both subducted onshore below density surfaces and translated offshore with eddies. Nonetheless, the exchange of parcels across the jet remains very limited on the monthly time scale. Particles originating from the bottom experience upward displacements of a few tens of meters and seaward displacements of O(100) km, suggesting that the eddy activity engendered by an unstable along-slope jet provides another mechanism for bottom boundary layer detachment near the shelf edge.
    Description: The author expresses his gratitude to the researchers who contributed to the development and public dissemination of POM [for a list of contributors, see Mellor (2002) and comments in the source code]. Discussions with Kenneth Brink, Hyodae Seo, and Weifeng Zhang have been helpful. Comments provided by Kenneth Brink on a draft are gratefully acknowledged. The criticism from two anonymous reviewers allowed us to better focus the manuscript and to significantly improve its clarity. This work has been supported by Grant OCE-1556400 from the U.S. National Science Foundation.
    Description: 2020-02-18
    Keywords: Dispersion ; Eddies ; Frontogenesis/frontolysis ; Instability ; Lagrangian circulation/transport ; Jets
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-02-16
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 47 (2017): 855-866, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0194.1.
    Description: Mesoscale eddies shape the Beaufort Gyre response to Ekman pumping, but their transient dynamics are poorly understood. Climate models commonly use the Gent–McWilliams (GM) parameterization, taking the eddy streamfunction to be proportional to an isopycnal slope s and an eddy diffusivity K. This local-in-time parameterization leads to exponential equilibration of currents. Here, an idealized, eddy-resolving Beaufort Gyre model is used to demonstrate that carries a finite memory of past ocean states, violating a key GM assumption. As a consequence, an equilibrating gyre follows a spiral sink trajectory implying the existence of a damped mode of variability—the eddy memory (EM) mode. The EM mode manifests during the spinup as a 15% overshoot in isopycnal slope (2000 km3 freshwater content overshoot) and cannot be explained by the GM parameterization. An improved parameterization is developed, such that is proportional to an effective isopycnal slope , carrying a finite memory γ of past slopes. Introducing eddy memory explains the model results and brings to light an oscillation with a period ≈ 50 yr, where the eddy diffusion time scale TE ~ 10 yr and γ ≈ 6 yr are diagnosed from the eddy-resolving model. The EM mode increases the Ekman-driven gyre variance by γ/TE ≈ 50% ± 15%, a fraction that stays relatively constant despite both time scales decreasing with increased mean forcing. This study suggests that the EM mode is a general property of rotating turbulent flows and highlights the need for better observational constraints on transient eddy field characteristics.
    Description: GEM acknowledges the Stanback Postdoctoral Fellowship Fund at Caltech and the Howland Postdoctoral Program Fund at WHOI. MAS was supported by NSF Grants PLR-1415489 and OCE- 1232389. AFT acknowledges support from NSF OCE- 1235488.
    Keywords: Arctic ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Parameterization ; Multidecadal variability
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-10-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 48 (2018): 773-794, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0205.1.
    Description: Fourteen autonomous profiling floats, equipped with CTDs, were deployed in the deep eastern and western basins of the Gulf of Mexico over a four-year interval (July 2011–August 2015), producing a total of 706 casts. This is the first time since the early 1970s that there has been a comprehensive survey of water masses in the deep basins of the Gulf, with better vertical resolution than available from older ship-based surveys. Seven floats had 14-day cycles with parking depths of 1500 m, and the other half from the U.S. Argo program had varying cycle times. Maps of characteristic water masses, including Subtropical Underwater, Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW), and North Atlantic Deep Water, showed gradients from east to west, consistent with their sources being within the Loop Current (LC) and the Yucatan Channel waters. Altimeter SSH was used to characterize profiles being in LC or LC eddy water or in cold eddies. The two-layer nature of the deep Gulf shows isotherms being deeper in the warm anticyclonic LC and LC eddies and shallower in the cold cyclones. Mixed layer depths have an average seasonal signal that shows maximum depths (~60 m) in January and a minimum in June–July (~20 m). Basin-mean steric heights from 0–50-m dynamic heights and altimeter SSH show a seasonal range of ~12 cm, with significant interannual variability. The translation of LC eddies across the western basin produces a region of low homogeneous potential vorticity centered over the deepest part of the western basin.
    Description: The authors were supported by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Contract M08PC20043 to Leidos, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina.
    Description: 2018-10-04
    Keywords: Eddies ; Mixing ; Potential vorticity ; Surface layer ; Water masses
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  • 4
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2018-02-16
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 47 (2017): 879-894, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0196.1.
    Description: Models show that surface cooling over a sloping continental shelf should give rise to baroclinic instability and thus tend toward gravitationally stable density stratification. Less is known about how alongshore winds affect this process, so the role of surface momentum input is treated here by means of a sequence of idealized, primitive equation numerical model calculations. The effects of cooling rate, wind amplitude and direction, bottom slope, bottom friction, and rotation rate are all considered. All model runs lead to instability and an eddy field. While instability is not strongly affected by upwelling-favorable alongshore winds, wind-driven downwelling substantially reduces eddy kinetic energy, largely because the downwelling circulation plays a similar role to baroclinic instability by flattening isotherms and so reducing available potential energy. Not surprisingly, cross-shelf winds appear to have little effect. Analysis of the model runs leads to quantitative relations for the wind effect on eddy kinetic energy for the equilibrium density stratification (which increases as the cooling rate increases) and for eddy length scale.
    Description: This research was supported by the National Science Foundation Physical Oceanography Program through Grant OCE-1433953.
    Keywords: Continental shelf/slope ; Baroclinic flows ; Eddies ; Instability
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-05-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 48 (2018): 2703-2719, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0245.1.
    Description: A new set of deep float trajectory data collected in the Gulf of Mexico from 2011 to 2015 at 1500- and 2500-m depths is analyzed to describe mesoscale processes, with particular attention paid to the western Gulf. Wavelet analysis is used to identify coherent eddies in the float trajectories, leading to a census of the basinwide coherent eddy population and statistics of the eddies’ kinematic properties. The eddy census reveals a new formation region for anticyclones off the Campeche Escarpment, located northwest of the Yucatan Peninsula. These eddies appear to form locally, with no apparent direct connection to the upper layer. Once formed, the eddies drift westward along the northern edge of the Sigsbee Abyssal Gyre, located in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico over the abyssal plain. The formation mechanism and upstream sources for the Campeche Escarpment eddies are explored: the observational data suggest that eddy formation may be linked to the collision of a Loop Current eddy with the western boundary of the Gulf. Specifically, the disintegration of a deep dipole traveling under the Loop Current eddy Kraken, caused by the interaction with the northwestern continental slope, may lead to the acceleration of the abyssal gyre and the boundary current in the Bay of Campeche region.
    Description: The authors were supported by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Contract M10PC00112 to Leidos, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina.
    Description: 2019-05-07
    Keywords: Abyssal circulation ; Currents ; Eddies ; Mesoscale processes ; Trajectories ; In situ oceanic observations
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  • 6
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2018-11-02
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 2018
    Description: Highly migratory marine fishes support valuable commercial fisheries worldwide. Yet, many target species have proven difficult to study due to long-distance migrations and regular deep diving. Despite the dominance of oceanographic features, such as fronts and eddies, in the open ocean, the biophysical interactions occurring at the oceanic (sub)mesoscale (〈 100 km) remain poorly understood. This leads to a paucity of knowledge on oceanographic associations of pelagic fishes and hinders management efforts. With ever-improving oceanographic datasets and modeling outputs, we can leverage these tools both to derive better estimates of animal movements and to quantify fish-environment interactions. In this thesis, I developed analytical tools to characterize the biophysical interactions influencing animal behavior and species’ ecology in the open ocean. A novel, observation-based likelihood framework was combined with a Bayesian state-space model to improve geolocation estimates for archival-tagged fishes using oceanographic profile data. Using this approach, I constructed track estimates for a large basking shark tag dataset using a high-resolution oceanographic model and discovered a wide range of movement strategies. I also applied this modeling approach to track archival-tagged swordfish, which revealed affinity for thermal front and eddy habitats throughout the North Atlantic that was further corroborated by synthesizing these results with a fisheries-dependent conventional tag dataset. An additive modeling approach applied to longline catch-per-unit effort data further highlighted the biophysical interactions that characterize variability in swordfish catch. In the final chapter, I designed a synergistic analysis of high-resolution, 3D shark movements and satellite observations to quantify the influence of mesoscale oceanography on blue shark movements and behavior. This work demonstrated the importance of eddies in structuring the pelagic ocean by influencing the movements of an apex predator and governing the connectivity between deep scattering layer communities and deep-diving, epipelagic predators. Together, these studies demonstrate the breadth and depth of information that can be garnered through the integration of traditional animal tagging and oceanographic research with cutting-edge analytical approaches and high-resolution oceanographic model and remote sensing datasets, the product of which provides a transformative view of the biophysical interactions occurring in and governing the structure of the pelagic ocean.
    Description: Supported by the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship, the MIT John S. Hennessy Fellowship, the MIT Martin Family Society of Fellows for Sustainability Fellowship, the WHOI Ocean Venture, Grassle, and James Stratton Fellowships and the WHOI Academic Programs Office. This research and its dissemination was supported by funds from National Geographic, Amazon Web Services, the Explorers Club, Rolex, Sigma Xi, the MIT Center for International Studies, WHOI Access to the Sea and Coastal Ocean Institute Funds, MIT Graduate Student Council, MIT Student Assistance Fund, WHOI Biology Department, American Fisheries Society, WHOI Academic Programs Office
    Keywords: Fishes ; Fisheries ; Pelagic fishes ; Eddies ; Animal marking
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Thesis
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  • 7
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-06-08
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 46 (2016): 3599-3621, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0085.1.
    Description: At continental margins, energetic deep-ocean eddies can transport shelf water offshore in filaments that wrap around the eddy. One example is that of Gulf Stream warm-core rings interacting with the Mid-Atlantic Bight shelf. The rate at which shelf water is exported in these filaments is a major unknown in regional budgets of volume, heat, and salt. This unknown transport is constrained using a series of idealized primitive equation numerical experiments wherein a surface-intensified anticyclonic eddy interacts with idealized shelf–slope topography. There is no shelfbreak front in these experiments, and shelf water is tracked using a passive tracer. When anticyclones interact with shelf–slope topography, they suffer apparent intrusions of shelf–slope water, resulting in a subsurface maximum in offshore transport. The simulations help construct an approximate model for the filament of exported water that originates inshore of any given isobath. This model is then used to derive an expression for the total volume of shelf–slope water transported by the eddy across that isobath. The transport scales with water depth, radius, and azimuthal velocity scale of the eddy. The resulting expression can be used with satellite-derived eddy properties to estimate approximate real-world transports ignoring the presence of a shelfbreak front. The expression assumes that the eddy’s edge is at the shelf break, a condition not always satisfied by real eddies.
    Description: The research presented here was funded by NSF Grants OCE-1059632 and OCE-1433953. Funding support from the Academic Programs Office, and WHOI is also gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2017-06-08
    Keywords: Continental shelf/slope ; Advection ; Dynamics ; Eddies ; Topographic effects
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2017-10-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 47 (2017): 1291-1305, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0160.1.
    Description: Along-stream variations in the dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) impact heat and tracer transport, regulate interbasin exchange, and influence closure of the overturning circulation. Topography is primarily responsible for generating deviations from zonal-mean properties, mainly through standing meanders associated with regions of high eddy kinetic energy. Here, an idealized channel model is used to explore the spatial distribution of energy exchange and its relationship to eddy geometry, as characterized by both eddy momentum and eddy buoyancy fluxes. Variations in energy exchange properties occur not only between standing meander and quasi-zonal jet regions, but throughout the meander itself. Both barotropic and baroclinic stability properties, as well as the magnitude of energy exchange terms, undergo abrupt changes along the path of the ACC. These transitions are captured by diagnosing eddy fluxes of energy and by adopting the eddy geometry framework. The latter, typically applied to barotropic stability properties, is applied here in the depth–along-stream plane to include information about both barotropic and baroclinic stability properties of the flow. These simulations reveal that eddy momentum fluxes, and thus barotropic instability, play a leading role in the energy budget within a standing meander. This result suggests that baroclinic instability alone cannot capture the dynamics of ACC standing meanders, a challenge for models where eddy fluxes are parameterized.
    Description: The authors all acknowledge support from NSF OCE-1235488. MKY also acknowledges support from the AMS Graduate Student Fellowship.
    Description: 2017-10-12
    Keywords: Southern Ocean ; Channel flows ; Stability ; Topographic effects ; Eddies ; Mesoscale models
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-02-19
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 46 (2016): 2645-2662, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0191.1.
    Description: The occurrence, drivers, and implications of small-scale O(2–5) km diameter coherent vortices, referred to as submesoscale eddies, over the inner shelf south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, are examined using high-frequency (HF), radar-based, high-resolution (400 m) observations of surface currents. Within the 300 km2 study area, eddies occurred at rates of 1 and 4 day−1 in winter and summer, respectively. Most were less than 5 h in duration, smaller than 4 km in diameter, and rotated less than once over their lifespan; 60% of the eddies formed along the eastern edge of study area, adjacent to Wasque Shoal, and moved westward into the interior, often with relative vorticity greater than f. Eddy generation was linked to vortex stretching on the ebb and flood tide as well as the interaction of the spatially variable tide and the wind-driven currents; however, these features had complex patterns of surface divergence and stretching. Eddies located away from Wasque Shoal were related to the movement of wind-driven surface currents, as wind direction controlled where eddies formed as well as density effects. Using an analysis of particles advected within the radar-based surface currents, the observed eddies were found to be generally leaky, losing 60%–80% of particles over their lifespan, but still more retentive than the background flow. As a result, the combined translation and rotational effects of the observed eddies were an important source of lateral exchange for surface waters over the inner shelf.
    Description: The HF radar data utilized here were obtained using internal funding from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The analysis was supported by NSF OCE Grant 1332646.
    Description: 2017-02-19
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Continental shelf/slope ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Currents ; Eddies ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Radars/Radar observations
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2016-06-30
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 46 (2016): 1717-1734, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0124.1.
    Description: The contribution of warm-core anticyclones shed by the Irminger Current off West Greenland, known as Irminger rings, to the restratification of the upper layers of the Labrador Sea is investigated in the 1/12° Family of Linked Atlantic Models Experiment (FLAME) model. The model output, covering the 1990–2004 period, shows strong similarities to observations of the Irminger Current as well as ring observations at a mooring located offshore of the eddy formation region in 2007–09. An analysis of fluxes in the model shows that while the majority of heat exchange with the interior indeed occurs at the site of the Irminger Current instability, the contribution of the coherent Irminger rings is modest (18%). Heat is provided to the convective region mainly through noncoherent anomalies and enhanced local mixing by the rings facilitating further exchange between the boundary and interior. The time variability of the eddy kinetic energy and the boundary to interior heat flux in the model are strongly correlated to the density gradient between the dense convective region and the more buoyant boundary current. In FLAME, the density variations of the boundary current are larger than those of the convective region, thereby largely controlling changes in lateral fluxes. Synchronous long-term trends in temperature in the boundary and the interior over the 15-yr simulation suggest that the heat flux relative to the temperature of the interior is largely steady on these time scales.
    Description: The authors were supported in this work by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; North Atlantic Ocean ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Anticyclones ; Boundary currents ; Convection ; Eddies ; Fluxes
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  • 11
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2016-11-23
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 2016
    Description: Eddies in the ocean move westwards. Those shed by western boundary currents must then interact with continental shelf-slope topography at the western boundary. The presence of other eddies and mean lows complicates this simple picture, yet satellite images show that mesoscale eddies translating near the shelfbreak routinely affect the continental shelves of the Mid-Atlantic Bight, the Gulf of Mexico etc. The consequent cross-shelfbreak transports are currently of unknown importance to shelf budgets of heat, salt and volume. Thus motivated, this thesis uses idealized continuously stratified numerical experiments to explore eddy-slope interactions under four questions: 1. Can the continental slope prevent an eddy from reaching the shelfbreak? 2. What is the structure of the eddy-driven offshore low? 3. How is the continental shelf affected by an eddy at the shelfbreak? 4. Given surface observations, can one estimate the volume of water transported across the shelfbreak? The experiments show that the efficiency of Rossby wave radiation from the eddy controls whether it can cross isobaths: by radiating energy the eddy becomes shallow enough to move into shallower water. For wide continental slopes, relative to an eddy diameter, a slope can prevent an anticyclone from reaching the shelfbreak by shutting down such radiation. For narrow continental slopes, the interaction repeatedly produces dipoles, whose cyclonic halves contain shelf-slope water stacked over eddy water. The formation of such cyclones is explained. Then, the structure of shelf lows forced by the eddy are studied: their vertical structures are rationalized and scalings derived for their cross-isobath scales; for example, the extent to which the eddy influences the shelf. A recipe for estimating cross-isobath transports based on eddy surface properties is put forward. Finally, the findings are tested against observations in the Middle Atlantic Bight of the northeastern United States.
    Description: I acknowledge high-performance computing support from Yellowstone (ark:/85065/d7wd3xhc) provided by NCAR’s Computational and Information Systems Laboratory, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The research presented here was funded by National Science Foundation grants OCE-1059632 and OCE-1433953. Funding support from the Academic Programs Oice, WHOI is also gratefully acknowledged.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Oceanography
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2017-04-20
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 46 (2016): 3263-3278, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0091.1.
    Description: The halocline of the Beaufort Gyre varies significantly on interannual to decadal time scales, affecting the freshwater content (FWC) of the Arctic Ocean. This study explores the role of eddies in the Ekman-driven gyre variability. Following the transformed Eulerian-mean paradigm, the authors develop a theory that links the FWC variability to the stability of the large-scale gyre, defined as the inverse of its equilibration time. The theory, verified with eddy-resolving numerical simulations, demonstrates that the gyre stability is explicitly controlled by the mesoscale eddy diffusivity. An accurate representation of the halocline dynamics requires the eddy diffusivity of 300 ± 200 m2 s−1, which is lower than what is used in most low-resolution climate models. In particular, on interannual and longer time scales the eddy fluxes and the Ekman pumping provide equally important contributions to the FWC variability. However, only large-scale Ekman pumping patterns can significantly alter the FWC, with spatially localized perturbations being an order of magnitude less efficient. Lastly, the authors introduce a novel FWC tendency diagnostic—the Gyre Index—that can be conveniently calculated using observations located only along the gyre boundaries. Its strong predictive capabilities, assessed in the eddy-resolving model forced by stochastic winds, suggest that the Gyre Index would be of use in interpreting FWC evolution in observations as well as in numerical models.
    Description: GEMacknowledges the support from theHowland Postdoctoral Program Fund at WHOI and the Stanback Fellowship Fund at Caltech.MAS was supported by NSF Grants PLR-1415489 and OCE-1232389. AFT acknowledges support from NASA Award NNN12AA01C.
    Description: 2017-04-20
    Keywords: Arctic ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Large-scale motions ; Ocean circulation ; Stability
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 45 (2015): 1822–1842, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0147.1.
    Description: Influences of time-dependent precipitation on water mass transformation and heat budgets in an idealized marginal sea are examined using theoretical and numerical models. The equations proposed by Spall in 2012 are extended to cases with time-dependent precipitation whose form is either a step function or a sinusoidal function. The theory predicts the differences in temperature and salinity between the convective water and the boundary current as well as the magnitudes of heat fluxes into the marginal sea and across the sea surface. Moreover, the theory reveals that there are three inherent time scales: relaxation time scales for temperature and salinity and a precipitation time scale. The relaxation time scales are determined by a steady solution of the theoretical model with steady precipitation. The relaxation time scale for temperature is always smaller than that for salinity as a result of not only the difference in the form of fluxes at the surface but also the variation in the eddy transport from the boundary current. These three time scales and the precipitation amplitude determine the strength of the ocean response to changes in precipitation and the phase relation between precipitation, changes in salinity and temperature, and changes in heat fluxes. It is demonstrated that the theoretical predictions agree qualitatively well with results from the eddy-resolving numerical model. This demonstrates the fundamental role of mesoscale eddies in the ocean response to time-dependent forcing and provides a framework with which to assess the extent to which observed variability in marginal sea convection and water mass transformation are consistent with an external forcing by variations in precipitation.
    Description: This work was initiated at the 2013 WHOI Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Summer Program, which was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. This work was also supported by Grant-in-Aid for Research Fellow (25·8466) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT), Japan, the Program for Leading Graduate Schools, MEXT, Japan (YY), and by the National Science Foundation Grant OCE-1232389 (MAS).
    Description: 2016-01-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Boundary currents ; Deep convection ; Eddies ; Ocean dynamics ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Precipitation
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  • 14
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2016-05-01
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 45 (2015): 2820–2835, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0101.1.
    Description: The response of a convective ocean basin to variations in atmospheric temperature is explored using numerical models and theory. The results indicate that the general behavior depends strongly on the frequency at which the atmosphere changes relative to the local response time to air–sea heat flux. For high-frequency forcing, the convective region in the basin interior is essentially one-dimensional and responds to the integrated local surface heat flux anomalies. For low-frequency forcing, eddy fluxes from the boundary current into the basin interior become important and act to suppress variability forced by the atmosphere. A theory is developed to quantify this time-dependent response and its influence on various oceanic quantities. The amplitude and phase of the temperature and salinity of the convective water mass, the meridional overturning circulation, the meridional heat flux, and the air–sea heat flux predicted by the theory compare well with that diagnosed from a series of numerical model calculations in both strongly eddying and weakly eddying regimes. Linearized analytic solutions provide direct estimates of each of these quantities and demonstrate their dependence on the nondimensional numbers that characterize the domain and atmospheric forcing. These results highlight the importance of mesoscale eddies in modulating the mean and time-dependent ocean response to atmospheric variability and provide a dynamical framework with which to connect ocean observations with changes in the atmosphere and surface heat flux.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant OCE-1232389.
    Description: 2016-05-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Deep convection ; Eddies ; Meridional overturning circulation
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 45 (2015): 104–132, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0032.1.
    Description: Three mechanisms for self-induced Ekman pumping in the interiors of mesoscale ocean eddies are investigated. The first arises from the surface stress that occurs because of differences between surface wind and ocean velocities, resulting in Ekman upwelling and downwelling in the cores of anticyclones and cyclones, respectively. The second mechanism arises from the interaction of the surface stress with the surface current vorticity gradient, resulting in dipoles of Ekman upwelling and downwelling. The third mechanism arises from eddy-induced spatial variability of sea surface temperature (SST), which generates a curl of the stress and therefore Ekman pumping in regions of crosswind SST gradients. The spatial structures and relative magnitudes of the three contributions to eddy-induced Ekman pumping are investigated by collocating satellite-based measurements of SST, geostrophic velocity, and surface winds to the interiors of eddies identified from their sea surface height signatures. On average, eddy-induced Ekman pumping velocities approach O(10) cm day−1. SST-induced Ekman pumping is usually secondary to the two current-induced mechanisms for Ekman pumping. Notable exceptions are the midlatitude extensions of western boundary currents and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, where SST gradients are strong and all three mechanisms for eddy-induced Ekman pumping are comparable in magnitude. Because the polarity of current-induced curl of the surface stress opposes that of the eddy, the associated Ekman pumping attenuates the eddies. The decay time scale of this attenuation is proportional to the vertical scale of the eddy and inversely proportional to the wind speed. For typical values of these parameters, the decay time scale is about 1.3 yr.
    Description: This work was funded by NASA Grants NNX08AI80G, NNX08AR37G, NNX13AD78G, NNX10AE91G, NNX13AE47G, and NNX10AO98G.
    Description: 2015-07-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Satellite observations
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  • 16
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 45 (2015): 606–612, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0221.1.
    Description: Mesoscale intrathermocline lenses are observed throughout the World Ocean and are commonly attributed to water mass anomalies advected from a distant origin. An alternative mechanism of local generation is offered herein, in which eddy–wind interaction can create lens-shaped disturbances in the thermocline. Numerical simulations illustrate how eddy–wind-driven upwelling in anticyclones can yield a convex lens reminiscent of a mode water eddy, whereas eddy–wind-driven downwelling in cyclones produces a concave lens that thins the mode water layer (a cyclonic “thinny”). Such transformations should be observable with long-term time series in the interiors of mesoscale eddies.
    Description: Support of this research by the National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics and Space Administration is gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2015-08-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Models and modeling ; Ocean models ; Primitive equations model
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 45 (2015): 778–791, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0164.1.
    Description: This study examines anisotropic transport properties of the eddying North Atlantic flow, using an idealized model of the double-gyre oceanic circulation and altimetry-derived velocities. The material transport by the time-dependent flow (quantified by the eddy diffusivity tensor) varies geographically and is anisotropic, that is, it has a well-defined direction of the maximum transport. One component of the time-dependent flow, zonally elongated large-scale transients, is particularly important for the anisotropy, as it corresponds to primarily zonal material transport and long correlation time scales. The importance of these large-scale zonal transients in the material distribution is further confirmed with simulations of idealized color dye tracers, which has implications for parameterizations of the eddy transport in non-eddy-resolving models.
    Description: IK would like to acknowledge support through the NSF Grant OCE-1154923. IR was supported by the NSF OCE-1154641 and NASA Grant NNX14AH29G.
    Description: 2015-09-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Eddies ; Lagrangian circulation/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Ocean circulation ; Models and modeling ; Tracers
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 45 (2015): 1735–1756, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0238.1.
    Description: The Lofoten basin of the Nordic Seas is recognized as a crucial component of the meridional overturning circulation in the North Atlantic because of the large horizontal extent of Atlantic Water and winter surface buoyancy loss. In this study, hydrographic and current measurements collected from a mooring deployed in the Lofoten basin from July 2010 to September 2012 are used to describe water mass transformation and the mesoscale eddy field. Winter mixed layer depths (MLDs) are observed to reach approximately 400 m, with larger MLDs and denser properties resulting from the colder 2010 winter. A heat budget of the upper water column requires lateral input, which balances the net annual heat loss of ~80 W m−2. The lateral flux is a result of mesoscale eddies, which dominate the velocity variability. Eddy velocities are enhanced in the upper 1000 m, with a barotropic component that reaches the bottom. Detailed examination of two eddies, from April and August 2012, highlights the variability of the eddy field and eddy properties. Temperature and salinity properties of the April eddy suggest that it originated from the slope current but was ventilated by surface fluxes. The properties within the eddy were similar to those of the mode water, indicating that convection within the eddies may make an important contribution to water mass transformation. A rough estimate of eddy flux per unit boundary current length suggests that fluxes in the Lofoten basin are larger than in the Labrador Sea because of the enhanced boundary current–interior density difference.
    Description: The work was supported by NSF OCE 0850416.
    Description: 2015-12-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Boundary currents ; Eddies ; Fluxes ; Mesoscale processes ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Thermohaline circulation
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Climate 27 (2014): 2842–2860, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00227.1.
    Description: Mooring measurements from the Kuroshio Extension System Study (June 2004–June 2006) and from the ongoing Kuroshio Extension Observatory (June 2004–present) are combined with float measurements of the Argo network to study the variability of the North Pacific Subtropical Mode Water (STMW) across the entire gyre, on time scales from days, to seasons, to a decade. The top of the STMW follows a seasonal cycle, although observations reveal that it primarily varies in discrete steps associated with episodic wind events. The variations of the STMW bottom depth are tightly related to the sea surface height (SSH), reflecting mesoscale eddies and large-scale variations of the Kuroshio Extension and recirculation gyre systems. Using the observed relationship between SSH and STMW, gridded SSH products and in situ estimates from floats are used to construct weekly maps of STMW thickness, providing nonbiased estimates of STMW total volume, annual formation and erosion volumes, and seasonal and interannual variability for the past decade. Year-to-year variations are detected, particularly a significant decrease of STMW volume in 2007–10 primarily attributable to a smaller volume formed. Variability of the heat content in the mode water region is dominated by the seasonal cycle and mesoscale eddies; there is only a weak link to STMW on interannual time scales, and no long-term trends in heat content and STMW thickness between 2002 and 2011 are detected. Weak lagged correlations among air–sea fluxes, oceanic heat content, and STMW thickness are found when averaged over the northwestern Pacific recirculation gyre region.
    Description: This work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Grants OCE-0220161, OCE-0825152, and OCE-0827125).
    Description: 2014-10-15
    Keywords: Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Mesoscale processes ; Mesoscale systems ; Ocean dynamics ; Eddies ; Water masses
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Climate 26 (2013): 9839–9859, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00647.1.
    Description: Spatial and temporal covariability between the atmospheric transient eddy heat fluxes (i.e., υ′T′ and υ′q′) in the Northern Hemisphere winter (January–March) and the paths of the Gulf Stream (GS), Kuroshio Extension (KE), and Oyashio Extension (OE) are examined based on an atmospheric reanalyses and ocean observations for 1979–2009. For the climatological winter mean, the northward heat fluxes by the synoptic (2–8 days) transient eddies exhibit canonical storm tracks with their maxima collocated with the GS and KE/OE. The intraseasonal (8 days–3 months) counterpart, while having overall similar amplitude, shows a spatial pattern with more localized maxima near the major orography and blocking regions. Lateral heat flux divergence by transient eddies as the sum of the two frequency bands exhibits very close coupling with the exact locations of the ocean fronts. Linear regression is used to examine the lead–lag relationship between interannual changes in the northward heat fluxes by the transient eddies and the meridional changes in the paths of the GS, KE, and OE, respectively. One to three years prior to the northward shifts of each ocean front, the atmospheric storm tracks shift northward and intensify, which is consistent with wind-driven changes of the ocean. Following the northward shifts of the ocean fronts, the synoptic storm tracks weaken in all three cases. The zonally integrated northward heat transport by the synoptic transient eddies increases by ~5% of its maximum mean value prior to the northward shift of each ocean front and decreases to a similar amplitude afterward.
    Description: Support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Physical Oceanography Program (NNX09AF35G to TJ and Y-OK) and the Department of Energy (DOE) Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (DE-SC0007052 to Y-OK) is gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2014-06-15
    Keywords: Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Eddies ; Energy transport ; Storm tracks ; Heat budgets/fluxes
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 44 (2014): 229–245, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0218.1.
    Description: Data from a mooring deployed at the edge of the East Greenland shelf south of Denmark Strait from September 2007 to October 2008 are analyzed to investigate the processes by which dense water is transferred off the shelf. It is found that water denser than 27.7 kg m−3—as dense as water previously attributed to the adjacent East Greenland Spill Jet—resides near the bottom of the shelf for most of the year with no discernible seasonality. The mean velocity in the central part of the water column is directed along the isobaths, while the deep flow is bottom intensified and veers offshore. Two mechanisms for driving dense spilling events are investigated, one due to offshore forcing and the other associated with wind forcing. Denmark Strait cyclones propagating southward along the continental slope are shown to drive off-shelf flow at their leading edges and are responsible for much of the triggering of individual spilling events. Northerly barrier winds also force spilling. Local winds generate an Ekman downwelling cell. Nonlocal winds also excite spilling, which is hypothesized to be the result of southward-propagating coastally trapped waves, although definitive confirmation is still required. The combined effect of the eddies and barrier winds results in the strongest spilling events, while in the absence of winds a train of eddies causes enhanced spilling.
    Description: The authors wish to thank Paula Fratantoni, Frank Bahr, and Dan Torres for processing the mooring data. The mooring array was capably deployed by the crew of the R/V Arni Fridriksson and recovered by the crew of the R/V Knorr. We thank Hedinn Valdimarsson for his assistance in the field work. Ken Brink provided valuable insights regarding the dynamics of shelf waves. Funding for the study was provided by National Science Foundation Grant OCE-0722694, the Arctic Research Initiative of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. We also wish to thank the Natural Environment Research Council for Ph.D. studentship funding, and the University of East Anglia’s Roberts Fund and Royal Meteorological Society for supporting travel for collaboration.
    Description: 2014-07-01
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Continental shelf/slope ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Upwelling/downwelling ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Eddies ; Extreme events ; Physical Meteorology and Climatology ; Air-sea interaction
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 44 (2014): 2593–2616, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0120.1.
    Description: The first direct estimate of the rate at which geostrophic turbulence mixes tracers across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current is presented. The estimate is computed from the spreading of a tracer released upstream of Drake Passage as part of the Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean (DIMES). The meridional eddy diffusivity, a measure of the rate at which the area of the tracer spreads along an isopycnal across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, is 710 ± 260 m2 s−1 at 1500-m depth. The estimate is based on an extrapolation of the tracer-based diffusivity using output from numerical tracers released in a one-twentieth of a degree model simulation of the circulation and turbulence in the Drake Passage region. The model is shown to reproduce the observed spreading rate of the DIMES tracer and suggests that the meridional eddy diffusivity is weak in the upper kilometer of the water column with values below 500 m2 s−1 and peaks at the steering level, near 2 km, where the eddy phase speed is equal to the mean flow speed. These vertical variations are not captured by ocean models presently used for climate studies, but they significantly affect the ventilation of different water masses.
    Description: NSF support through Awards OCE-1233832, OCE-1232962, and OCE-1048926 is gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2015-04-01
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Southern Ocean ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Diffusion ; Eddies ; Ocean circulation ; Turbulence ; Physical Meteorology and Climatology ; Isopycnal mixing
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  • 23
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 1996
    Description: This thesis addresses the question of how a highly energetic eddy field could be generated in the interior of the ocean away from the swift boundary currents. The energy radiation due to the temporal growth of non-trapped (radiating) disturbances in such a boundary current is thought to be one of the main sources for the described variability. The problem of stability of an energetic current, such as the Gulf Stream, is formulated. The study then focuses on the ability of the current to support radiating instabilities capable of significant penetration into the far-field and their development with time. The conventional model of the Gulf Stream as a zonal current is extended to allow the jet axis to make an angle to a latitude circle. The linear stability of such a nonzonal flow, uniform in the along-jet direction on a beta-plane, is first studied. The stability computations are performed for piece-wise constant and continuous velocity profiles. New stability properties of nonzonal jets are discussed. In particular, the destabilizing effect of the meridional tilt of the jet axis is demonstrated. The radiating properties of nonzonal currents are found to be very different from those of zonal currents. In particular, purely zonal flows do not support radiating instabilities, whereas flows with a meridional component are capable of radiating long and slowly growing waves. The nonlinear terms are then included in the consideration and the effects of the nonlinear interactions on the radiating properties of the solution are studied in detail. For these purposes, the efficient numerical code for solving equation for the QG potential vorticity with open boundary conditions of Orlanski's type is constructed. The results show that even fast growing linear solutions, which are trapped during the linear stage of developement, can radiate energy in the nonlinear regime if the basic current is nonzonal. The radiation starts as soon as the initial fast exponential growth significantly slows. The initial trapping of those solutions is caused by their fast temporal growth. The new mechanism for radiation is related to the nonzonality of a current.
    Description: This work was supported by NSF Grant OCE 9301845.
    Keywords: Ocean currents ; Ocean circulation ; Rossby waves ; Turbulence ; Eddies ; Electric conductivity
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    Type: Thesis
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 43 (2013): 905–919, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0150.1.
    Description: Interactions between vortices and a shelfbreak current are investigated, with particular attention to the exchange of waters between the continental shelf and slope. The nonlinear, three-dimensional interaction between an anticyclonic vortex and the shelfbreak current is studied in the laboratory while varying the ratio ε of the maximum azimuthal velocity in the vortex to the maximum alongshelf velocity in the shelfbreak current. Strong interactions between the shelfbreak current and the vortex are observed when ε 〉 1; weak interactions are found when ε 〈 1. When the anticyclonic vortex comes in contact with the shelfbreak front during a strong interaction, a streamer of shelf water is drawn offshore and wraps anticyclonically around the vortex. Measurements of the offshore transport and identification of the particle trajectories in the shelfbreak current drawn offshore from the vortex allow quantification of the fraction of the shelfbreak current that is deflected onto the slope; this fraction increases for increasing values of ε. Experimental results in the laboratory are strikingly similar to results obtained from observations in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB); after proper scaling, measurements of offshore transport and offshore displacement of shelf water for vortices in the MAB that span a range of values of ε agree well with laboratory predictions.
    Description: Laboratory work was supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE- 0081756. Glider observations in March–April 2006 were supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE-0220769. Glider observations in July– October 2007 were supported by a grant from Raytheon. RET was supported by the Postdoctoral Scholar Program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, with funding provided by the Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region. The REMUS observations were funded by the Office of Naval Research. GGG was supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE-1129125 for analysis and writing.
    Description: 2013-11-01
    Keywords: Continental shelf/slope ; Eddies ; Fronts ; Transport ; Laboratory/physical models
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 42 (2012): 2206–2228, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0191.1.
    Description: This study investigates the anisotropic properties of the eddy-induced material transport in the near-surface North Atlantic from two independent datasets, one simulated from the sea surface height altimetry and one derived from real-ocean surface drifters, and systematically examines the interactions between the mean- and eddy-induced material transport in the region. The Lagrangian particle dispersion, which is widely used to characterize the eddy-induced tracer fluxes, is quantified by constructing the “spreading ellipses.” The analysis consistently demonstrates that this dispersion is spatially inhomogeneous and strongly anisotropic. The spreading is larger and more anisotropic in the subtropical than in the subpolar gyre, and the largest ellipses occur in the Gulf Stream vicinity. Even at times longer than half a year, the spreading exhibits significant nondiffusive behavior in some parts of the domain. The eddies in this study are defined as deviations from the long-term time-mean. The contributions from the climatological annual cycle, interannual, and subannual (shorter than one year) variability are investigated, and the latter is shown to have the strongest effect on the anisotropy of particle spreading. The influence of the mean advection on the eddy-induced particle spreading is investigated using the “eddy-following-full-trajectories” technique and is found to be significant. The role of the Ekman advection is, however, secondary. The pronounced anisotropy of particle dispersion is expected to have important implications for distributing oceanic tracers, and for parameterizing eddy-induced tracer transfer in non-eddy-resolving models.
    Description: IR was supported by Grant NSF-OCE-0725796. IK would like to acknowledge support by the National Science foundation Grant OCE-0842834.
    Description: 2013-06-01
    Keywords: North Atlantic Ocean ; Diffusion ; Dispersion ; Eddies ; Lagrangian circulation/transport ; Trajectories
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 43 (2013): 283–300, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0240.1.
    Description: Motivated by the recent interest in ocean energetics, the widespread use of horizontal eddy viscosity in models, and the promise of high horizontal resolution data from the planned wide-swath satellite altimeter, this paper explores the impacts of horizontal eddy viscosity and horizontal grid resolution on geostrophic turbulence, with a particular focus on spectral kinetic energy fluxes Π(K) computed in the isotropic wavenumber (K) domain. The paper utilizes idealized two-layer quasigeostrophic (QG) models, realistic high-resolution ocean general circulation models, and present-generation gridded satellite altimeter data. Adding horizontal eddy viscosity to the QG model results in a forward cascade at smaller scales, in apparent agreement with results from present-generation altimetry. Eddy viscosity is taken to roughly represent coupling of mesoscale eddies to internal waves or to submesoscale eddies. Filtering the output of either the QG or realistic models before computing Π(K) also greatly increases the forward cascade. Such filtering mimics the smoothing inherent in the construction of present-generation gridded altimeter data. It is therefore difficult to say whether the forward cascades seen in present-generation altimeter data are due to real physics (represented here by eddy viscosity) or to insufficient horizontal resolution. The inverse cascade at larger scales remains in the models even after filtering, suggesting that its existence in the models and in altimeter data is robust. However, the magnitude of the inverse cascade is affected by filtering, suggesting that the wide-swath altimeter will allow a more accurate determination of the inverse cascade at larger scales as well as providing important constraints on smaller-scale dynamics.
    Description: BKA received support from Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-11-1-0487, National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants OCE-0924481 and OCE- 09607820, and University of Michigan startup funds. KLP acknowledges support from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution bridge support funds. RBS acknowledges support from NSF grants OCE-0960834 and OCE-0851457, a contract with the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, and a NASA subcontract to Boston University. JFS and JGR were supported by the projects ‘‘Global and remote littoral forcing in global ocean models’’ and ‘‘Agesotrophic vorticity dynamics of the ocean,’’ respectively, both sponsored by the Office of Naval Research under program element 601153N.
    Description: 2013-08-01
    Keywords: Eddies ; Nonlinear dynamics ; Ocean dynamics ; Satellite observations ; Ocean models
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  • 27
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution February 2013
    Description: Studying oceanic eddies is important for understanding and predicting ocean circulation and climate variability. The central focus of this dissertation is the energy exchange between eddies and mean flow and banded structures in the low-frequency component of the eddy field. A combination of a realistic eddy-permitting ocean state estimate and simplified theoretical models is used to address the following specific questions. (1) What are the major spatial characteristics of eddy-mean flow interaction from an energy perspective? Is eddy-mean flow interaction a local process in most ocean regions? (2) The banded structures in the low-frequency eddy field are termed striations. How much oceanic variability is associated with striations? How does the time-mean circulation, for example a subtropical gyre or constant mean flow, influence the origin and characteristics of striations? How much do striations contribute to the energy budget and tracer mixing?
    Description: This research was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration contracts NNX09AI87G and NNX08AR33G.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Ocean circulation
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2016-12-21
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 43 (2013): 1611–1626, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0204.1.
    Description: A new method is proposed for extrapolating subsurface velocity and density fields from sea surface density and sea surface height (SSH). In this, the surface density is linked to the subsurface fields via the surface quasigeostrophic (SQG) formalism, as proposed in several recent papers. The subsurface field is augmented by the addition of the barotropic and first baroclinic modes, whose amplitudes are determined by matching to the sea surface height (pressure), after subtracting the SQG contribution. An additional constraint is that the bottom pressure anomaly vanishes. The method is tested for three regions in the North Atlantic using data from a high-resolution numerical simulation. The decomposition yields strikingly realistic subsurface fields. It is particularly successful in energetic regions like the Gulf Stream extension and at high latitudes where the mixed layer is deep, but it also works in less energetic eastern subtropics. The demonstration highlights the possibility of reconstructing three-dimensional oceanic flows using a combination of satellite fields, for example, sea surface temperature (SST) and SSH, and sparse (or climatological) estimates of the regional depth-resolved density. The method could be further elaborated to integrate additional subsurface information, such as mooring measurements.
    Description: JW and AM were supported by NASA (NNX12AD47G) and NSF (OCE 0928617). JLM was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the Office of Science (BER), U.S. Department of Energy under DE-GF0205ER64119. GRF is supported by OCE-0752346 and JHL by NORSEE (Nordic Seas Eddy Exchanges) funded by the Norwegian Research Council.
    Description: 2014-02-01
    Keywords: Eddies ; Ocean dynamics ; Potential vorticity ; Surface pressure ; Surface temperature ; Inverse methods
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  • 29
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution April 1992
    Description: A pair of simple models representing the interaction of a continuously stratified f-plane quasigeostrophic lens with a uniform external shear flow is examined. The study is motivated by the desire to understand the processes that affect Mediterranean Salt Lenses and other mesoscale lenses in the ocean. The first model represents the eddy as a pair of quasigeostrophic 'point potential vortices' in uniform external shear, where the two point vortices are imagined to represent the top and bottom of a baroclinic eddy. While highly idealized, the model succeeds in qualitatively reproducing many aspects of the behavior of more complex models. In the second model the eddy is represented by an isolated three dimensional patch characterized by quasigeostrophic potential vorticity linear in z, in a background flow with constant potential vorticity. The boundary of the lens may be deformed by interactions with a uniform background shear. A family of linearized analytical solutions representing such a vortex is discussed in Chapter 3. These solutions represent lens-like eddies with trapped fluid cores, which may propagate through the surrounding water when there is external vertical shear. The analysis predicts the possible forms of the boundary deformation in a specified external flow, and the precession rate of normal mode boundary perturbations in the absence of external flow. The translation speed of the lens with respect to the surrounding fluid is found to be a simple function of the external vertical shear and the core baroclinicity. A numerical algorithm which is a generalization of the contour dynamics technique to stratified quasigeostrophic flow is used to extend the linear results into the nonlinear regime. This numerical analysis allows a determination of the range of environmental conditions (e.g., the maximum shear and/ or core baroclinicity) in which coherent vortex solutions can be found, and allows the stability of the steadily translating solutions to be examined directly. It is found that the solutions are stable if neither the external shear nor the core baroclinicity is too large, and that the breakdown of the unstable solutions is characterized by the loss of an extrusion of core fluid to the surrounding waters. The translation speeds of the large amplitude numerical solutions are found to have the same functional dependence on the external vertical shear and the core baroclinicity that was found in the linear analysis, and it is demonstrated that the solutions translate at a rate which is equal to the background flow speed at the center of potential vorticity of the lens. As a test of the model results, new data from a recent SOFAR float experiment are presented and compared with the model predictions. The data show that the cores of two different Mediterranean Salt Lenses are tilted, presumably as a result of interactions with external flows. Both the sense of the tilt and its relation to the translation of the lens are in qualitative agreement with the model solutions.
    Description: I am happy to acknowledge the support of the Office of Naval Research (grant N00014-89-J-1182) and the National Science Foundation (grants OCE 8916446 and OCE 87-00601).
    Keywords: Water masses ; Fluid dynamics ; Eddies
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Thesis
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 41 (2011): 2168–2186, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-08.1.
    Description: This paper studies the interaction of an Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC)–like wind-driven channel flow with a continental slope and a flat-bottomed bay-shaped shelf near the channel’s southern boundary. Interaction between the model ACC and the topography in the second layer induces local changes of the potential vorticity (PV) flux, which further causes the formation of a first-layer PV front near the base of the topography. Located between the ACC and the first-layer slope, the newly formed PV front is constantly perturbed by the ACC and in turn forces the first-layer slope with its own variability in an intermittent but persistent way. The volume transport of the slope water across the first-layer slope edge is mostly directly driven by eddies and meanders of the new front, and its magnitude is similar to the maximum Ekman transport in the channel. Near the bay’s opening, the effect of the topographic waves, excited by offshore variability, dominates the cross-isobath exchange and induces a mean clockwise shelf circulation. The waves’ propagation is only toward the west and tends to be blocked by the bay’s western boundary in the narrow-shelf region. The ensuing wave–coast interaction amplifies the wave amplitude and the cross-shelf transport. Because the interaction only occurs near the western boundary, the shelf water in the west of the bay is more readily carried offshore than that in the east and the mean shelf circulation is also intensified along the bay’s western boundary.
    Description: Y. Zhang acknowledges the support of the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Physical Oceanography and NSF OCE-9901654 and OCE- 0451086. J. Pedlosky acknowledges the support of NSF OCE-9901654 and OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Baroclinic flows ; Eddies ; Fronts ; Mass fluxes/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Topographic effects
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  • 31
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution November 1990
    Description: One and two layer models are used to study flow over axisymmetric isolated topography. Inviscid or nearly inviscid flow in which non-linear effects have order one importance is considered, and both the effects of β and finite topography are included. A one-layer quasi-geostrophic model is used to find the shape of Taylor columns on both the f-plane and the β-plane in the inviscid limit of the frictional problem. In this limit, the boundary of the Taylor column is a streamline, and the velocity in both directions vanishes on the boundary. The fluid within the Taylor column is stagnant, corresponding to the solution that Ingersoll (1969) found for flow over a right circular cylinder on the f-plane. In this case, the Taylor column is circular. An iterative boundary integral technique is used to find the solutions for flow over a cone on the f-plane. In this case the Taylor column has a tear drop shape. Solutions are also found for flow on the β-plane over a cylinder, and the Taylor column is approximately elliptical for westward flow with the major axis in the x direction, while it is slightly elongated in the y direction for eastward flow. The stagnation point of the Taylor column is located on the edge of the topography for all the solutions found. It was not possible to find solutions for smooth topographic shapes. Steady solutions for flow over a right circular cylinder of finite height are studied when the quasi-geostrophic approximation no longer applies. The solution consists of two parts, one which is similar to the quasi-geostrophic solution and is driven by the potential vorticity anomaly over the topography and the other which is similar to the solution of potential flow around an cylinder and is driven by the matching conditions on the edge of the topography. When the effect of β is large, the transport over the topography is enhanced as the streamlines follow lines of constant background potential vorticity. For eastward flow, the Rossby wave drag can be much larger than predicted from quasi-geostrophic theory. A two-layer model over finite topography using the quasi-geostrophic approximation is developed. The topography is a right circular cylinder which goes all of the way through the lower layer and an order Rossby number amount into the upper layer, so that the quasi-geostrophic approximation can be applied consistently. This geometry allows description of flow in which an isopycnal intersects the topography. The model is valid for a different regime than existing models of steady flow over finite topography in a continuously stratified fluid in which the bottom boundary is an isopycnal surface. The solutions contain the two components that are found in the the barotropic model of flow over finite topography. The model breaks down when the interface goes above the topography which occurs more easily when the stratification is weak. Closed streamlines occur more readily over the topography when the stratification is weak, whereas in traditional quasi-geostrophic theory they occur more readily when the stratification is strong. Near the topography, the interface is depressed to the right and raised to the left (looking downstream). A hierarchy of time-dependent models is used to examine the initial value problem of flow initiation over topography on the f-plane. A modified contour dynamics method is developed that extends the range of problems to which contour dynamics can be applied. The method allows boundary and matching conditions to be applied on a circular boundary. A one-layer quasi-geostrophic model is used to show that more fluid that originates over the topography remains there when the flow is turned on slowly than when it is turned on quickly. Flow over finite topography in a one-layer model shows a variety of different behaviors depending on the topographic height. When the topography has moderate height, two cyclonic eddies are created; when the topography fills up most of the water column, the fluid oscillates on and off the topography as it moves around the topography in a clockwise direction, and none of the fluid is shed downstream. Two quasi-geostrophic stratified models are considered, one in which the topography is small, and the other in which it is finite. In the small topography model, an eddy is shed which is cyclonic, warm-core, and bottom-trapped. In contrast, the shed eddy is cyclonic, cold-core, and surfaceintensified in the finite depth model using the geometry described above.
    Description: This study was supported by the Office of Naval Research Program N00014- 90-J-1839.
    Keywords: Waves ; Eddies
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  • 32
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution February 1994
    Description: In this work we study motion of a baroclinic upper-ocean eddy over a large-scale topography which simulates a continental slope. We use a quasigeostrophic f-plane approximation with continuous stratification. To study this problem we develop a new numerical technique which we call "semi-lagrangian contour dynamics". This technique resembles the traditional 2-D contour dynamics method but differs significantly from it in the numerical algorithm. In addition to "Lagrangian" moving contours it includes an underlying "Eulerian" regular grid to which vorticity or density fields are interpolated. To study topographic interactions in a continuously stratified model we use density contours at the bottom in a similar manner as vorticity contours are used in the standard contour dynamics. For the case of a localized upper-ocean vortex moving over a sloping bottom the problem becomes computationally 2-dimensional (we need to follow only bottom density contours and the position of the vortex itself) although the physical domain is still 3-dimensional. Results of the numerical model lndicate importance of baroclinic effects in the vortex-topography interaction. After the initial surge of topographic Rossby waves a vortex moves almost steadily due to the interaction with a bottom density anomaly which is created and supported by a vortex itself. This anomaly is equivalent to a region of opposite-signed vorticity with a total circulation exactly compensating that of a vortex. This results in a vertically aligned dipolar structure with the total barotropic component equal to zero. Analytical considerations explaining this effect are presented and formulated in a more general statement which resembles but does not coincide with the "zero angular momentum theorem" of Flierl, Stern and Whitehead, 1983. In such steady translation the centroid of a bottom density anomaly is displaced horizon tally from the center of an upper-ocean vortex so the whole system moves due to this misalignment, which is known as a "he tonic mechanism". Cyclonic vortices go generally upslope, and anticyclones - in a downslope direction. The along-slope component of their motion depends upon the strength of a vortex, curvature of the bottom slope and background flows. When surrounded by a bowl-shaped topography anticyclonic vortices tend to stay near the deepest center of a basin, even resisting ambient flows which advect them outward. Application of this results to various oceanic examples (particularly to the "Shikmona eddy" in the Eastern Meditenanian) is discussed. Our results show that the behavior of a vortex over a sloping bottom differs significantly from its motion on the planetary beta-plane (but with a flat bottom). To explain this difference we introduce the concept of a "wave-breaking regime" relevant for the case of a planetary beta-effect, and a "wave-gliding regime" which characterizes the interaction of an eddy with a topographic slope.
    Description: This work was supported by the NSF grant #OCE 90-12821.
    Keywords: Ocean circulation ; Ocean currents ; Ocean bottom ; Eddies
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  • 33
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 42 (2012): 1684–1700, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0230.1.
    Description: The influences of precipitation on water mass transformation and the strength of the meridional overturning circulation in marginal seas are studied using theoretical and idealized numerical models. Nondimensional equations are developed for the temperature and salinity anomalies of deep convective water masses, making explicit their dependence on both geometric parameters such as basin area, sill depth, and latitude, as well as on the strength of atmospheric forcing. In addition to the properties of the convective water, the theory also predicts the magnitude of precipitation required to shut down deep convection and switch the circulation into the haline mode. High-resolution numerical model calculations compare well with the theory for the properties of the convective water mass, the strength of the meridional overturning circulation, and also the shutdown of deep convection. However, the numerical model also shows that, for precipitation levels that exceed this critical threshold, the circulation retains downwelling and northward heat transport, even in the absence of deep convection.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation underGrantsOCE-0850416, OCE-0959381, andOCE-0859381.
    Description: 2013-04-01
    Keywords: Boundary currents ; Deep convection ; Eddies ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Ocean dynamics ; Stability
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  • 34
    facet.materialart.
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 1992
    Description: This study concerns the barotropic interactions between a mesoscale eddy and a straight monotonic bottom topography. Through simple to relatively complicated modeling effort, some of the fundamental properties of the interaction are investigated. In chapter two, the fundamental aspects of the interaction are examined using a simple contour dynamics model. With the simplest model configuration of an ideal vortex and a step topography, the basic dynamical features of the observed oceanic eddy-topography interaction are qualitatively reproduced. The results consist of eddy-induced cross-topography exchange, formation of topographic eddies, eddy propagation and generation of topographic waves. In chapter three, a more complicated primitive equation model is used to investigate a mesoscale eddy interacting with an exponential continental shelf/slope topography on both f and β-planes. The f-plane model recasts the important features of chapter two. The roles of the eddy size and strength and the geometry of topography are studied. It is seen that the multiple anticyclonic eddy-slope interactions strongly affect the total cross-slope volume transport and the evolution of both the original anticyclone and the topographic eddy. Since a cyclone is trapped at the slope and eventually moves on to the slope, it is most effective in causing perturbation on the shelf and slope. The responses on the shelf and slope are mainly wavelike with dispersion relation obeying that of the free shelf-trapped wave modes. On the β-plane, the problem of an eddy colliding onto a continental shelf/slope from a distance with straight or oblique incident angles is investigated. It is found that the straight eddy incident is more effective in achieving large onslope eddy penetration distance than the oblique eddy incident. The formation of a dipole-like eddy pair consisting of the original anticyclone and the topographic cyclone acts to suppress the eddy decay due to long Rossby wave radiation. A weak along-slope current near the edge of the slope is found, which is part of a outer slope circulation cell originated from the Rossby wave wake trailing the propagating eddy. Model-observation comparisons in_chapter four show favorable qualitative agreement of the model results with some of the observed events in the eastern U.S. continental margins and in the Gulf of Mexico. The model results give dynamical interpretations to some observed features of the oceanic eddy-topography interactions and provide enlightening insight into the problem.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Ocean currents ; Fluid dynamics
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  • 35
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution March 1992
    Description: Rotating baroclinic and barotropic boundary currents flowing around a corner in the laboratory were studied in order to discover the circumstances under which eddies were produced at the corner. Such flows are reminiscent of oceanic coastal flows around capes. When the baroclinic currents, which consisted of surface flows bounded by a density front, encountered a sharp corner, immediately downstream of the corner an anticyclone grew in the surface layer for an angle of greater than 40 degrees. Varying the initial condition of the flow or the depth of the lower layer did not noticeably affect the gyre's properties except for its growth speed, which was greater when the lower layer was shallower. The barotropic currents were pumped along a sloping bottom, and also formed anticyclonic gyres which quickly attained an approximately steady state. For a given topography, the size of the gyre was proportional to the inertial radius u/f. Volume flux calculations based on the surface velocity revealed vertical shear which increased with gyre size. Hydraulic models were also applied to flow around gently curving topography to determine the critical separation curvature as a function of upstream parameters.
    Description: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation grant OCE 89-15408.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Fluid dynamics ; Ocean currents
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 41 (2011): 889–910, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4496.1.
    Description: This paper examines interaction between a barotropic point vortex and a steplike topography with a bay-shaped shelf. The interaction is governed by two mechanisms: propagation of topographic Rossby waves and advection by the forcing vortex. Topographic waves are supported by the potential vorticity (PV) jump across the topography and propagate along the step only in one direction, having higher PV on the right. Near one side boundary of the bay, which is in the wave propagation direction and has a narrow shelf, waves are blocked by the boundary, inducing strong out-of-bay transport in the form of detached crests. The wave–boundary interaction as well as out-of-bay transport is strengthened as the minimum shelf width is decreased. The two control mechanisms are related differently in anticyclone- and cyclone-induced interactions. In anticyclone-induced interactions, the PV front deformations are moved in opposite directions by the point vortex and topographic waves; a topographic cyclone forms out of the balance between the two opposing mechanisms and is advected by the forcing vortex into the deep ocean. In cyclone-induced interactions, the PV front deformations are moved in the same direction by the two mechanisms; a topographic cyclone forms out of the wave–boundary interaction but is confined to the coast. Therefore, anticyclonic vortices are more capable of driving water off the topography. The anticyclone-induced transport is enhanced for smaller vortex–step distance or smaller topography when the vortex advection is relatively strong compared to the wave propagation mechanism.
    Description: Y. Zhang acknowledges the support of theMIT-WHOI Joint Programin Physical Oceanography, NSF OCE-9901654 and OCE-0451086. J. Pedlosky acknowledges the support of NSF OCE- 9901654 and OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Transport ; Eddies ; Barotropic flow ; Topographic effects ; Vortices ; Currents ; Potential vorticity ; Rossby waves
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  • 37
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 1999
    Description: Climate simulation with numerical oceanic models requires a proper parameterization scheme in order to represent the effects of unresolved mesoscale eddies. Even though a munber of schemes have been proposed and some have led to improvements in the simulation of the bulk climatological properties, the success of the parameterizations in representing the mesoscale eddies has not been investigated in detail. This thesis examines the role of eddies in a 105-years long basin scale eddy resolving simulation with the MIT General Circulation Model (GCM) forced by idealized wind stress and relaxation to prescribed meridional temperature; this thesis also evaluates the Fickian diffusive, the diabatic Green-Stone (GS) and the quasi-adiabatic Gent-McWilliams (GM) parameterizations in a diagnostic study and a series of coarse resolution experiments with the same model in the same configuration. The mesoscale eddies in the reference experiment provide a significant contribution to the thermal balance in limited areas of the domain associated with the upper 1000M of the boundary regions. Specifically designed diagnostic tests of the schemes show that the horizontal and vertical components of the parameterized flux are not simultaneously downgradient to the eddy heat flux. The transfer vectors are more closely aligned with the isopycnal surfaces for deeper layers, thus demonstrating the adiabatic nature of the eddy heat flux for deeper layers. The magnitude of the coefficients is estimated to be consistent with traditionally used values. However, the transfer of heat associated with timedependent motions is identified as a complicated process that cannot be fully explained with any of the local parameterization schemes considered. The eddy parameterization schemes are implemented in the coarse resolution configuration with the same model. A series of experiments exploring the schemes' parameter space demonstrate that Fickian diffusion has the least skill in the climatological simulations because it overestimates the temperature of the deep ocean and underestimates the total heat transport. The GS and GM schemes perform better in the simulation of the bulk climatological properties of the reference solution, although the GM scheme in particular produces an ocean that is consistently colder than the reference state. Comparison of the eddy heat flux divergence with the parameterized divergences for typical parameter values demonstrates that the success of the schemes in the climatological simulation is not related to the representation of the eddy heat flux but to the representation of the overall internal mixing processes.
    Description: The financial support for this research was provided by ONR grant number NOOOl4- 98-1-0881, Alliance for Global Sustainability and American Automobile Manufactures Association.
    Keywords: Ocean-atmosphere interaction ; Eddy flux ; Eddies ; Heat
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 41 (2011): 1182–1208, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4564.1.
    Description: The authors use data collected by a line of tall current meter moorings deployed across the axis of the Kuroshio Extension (KE) jet at the location of maximum time-mean eddy kinetic energy to characterize the mean jet structure, the eddy variability, and the nature of eddy–mean flow interactions observed during the Kuroshio Extension System Study (KESS). A picture of the 2-yr record mean jet structure is presented in both geographical and stream coordinates, revealing important contrasts in jet strength, width, vertical structure, and flanking recirculation structure. Eddy variability observed is discussed in the context of some of its various sources: jet meandering, rings, waves, and jet instability. Finally, various scenarios for eddy–mean flow interaction consistent with the observations are explored. It is shown that the observed cross-jet distributions of Reynolds stresses at the KESS location are consistent with wave radiation away from the jet, with the sense of the eddy feedback effect on the mean consistent with eddy driving of the observed recirculations. The authors consider these results in the context of a broader description of eddy–mean flow interactions in the larger KE region using KESS data in combination with in situ measurements from past programs in the region and satellite altimetry. This demonstrates important consistencies in the along-stream development of time-mean and eddy properties in the KE with features of an idealized model of a western boundary current (WBC) jet used to understand the nature and importance of eddy–mean flow interactions in WBC jet systems.
    Description: This work was supported by National Science Foundation funding for the KESS program under Grants OCE-0220161 (SW, NGH, and SRJ), OCE- 0825550 (SW), OCE-0850744 (NGH), and OCE-0849808 (SRJ). SW was also supported by the MIT Presidential Fellowship. The financial assistance of the Houghton Fund, the MIT Student Assistance Fund, and WHOI Academic Programs is also gratefully acknowledged.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Boundary currents ; Jets
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Climate 24 (2011): 4844–4858, doi:10.1175/2011JCLI4130.1.
    Description: The factors that determine the heat transport and overturning circulation in marginal seas subject to wind forcing and heat loss to the atmosphere are explored using a combination of a high-resolution ocean circulation model and a simple conceptual model. The study is motivated by the exchange between the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean and the Nordic Seas, a region that is of central importance to the oceanic thermohaline circulation. It is shown that mesoscale eddies formed in the marginal sea play a major role in determining the mean meridional heat transport and meridional overturning circulation across the sill. The balance between the oceanic eddy heat flux and atmospheric cooling, as characterized by a nondimensional number, is shown to be the primary factor in determining the properties of the exchange. Results from a series of eddy-resolving primitive equation model calculations for the meridional heat transport, overturning circulation, density of convective waters, and density of exported waters compare well with predictions from the conceptual model over a wide range of parameter space. Scaling and model results indicate that wind effects are small and the mean exchange is primarily buoyancy forced. These results imply that one must accurately resolve or parameterize eddy fluxes in order to properly represent the mean exchange between the North Atlantic and the Nordic Seas, and thus between the Nordic Seas and the atmosphere, in climate models.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants OCE-0726339 and OCE-0850416.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Forcing ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Transport ; North Atlantic Ocean ; Seas/gulfs/bays
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  • 40
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution February 1999
    Description: This thesis addresses the parameterization of the heat and momentum transporting properties of eddy motions for use in three-dimensional, primitive equation, z-coordinate atmosphere and ocean models. Determining the transport characteristics of these eddies is fundamental to understanding their effect on the large-scale ocean circulation and global climate. The approach is to transform the primitive equations to yield the altered 'transformed Eulerian mean' (TEM) equations. The assumption is made that the eddy motions obey quasigeostrophic dynamics while the mean flow obeys the primitive equations. With this assumption, the TEM framework leads to the eddies appearing as one term, which acts as a body force in the momentum equations. This force manifests itself as a flux of potential vorticity (PV) - a quantity that incorporates both eddy momentum and heat transporting properties. Moreover, the dynamic velocities are those of the residual mean circulation, a much more relevant velocity for understanding heat and tracer transport. Closure for the eddy PV flux is achieved through a flux-gradient relationship, which directs the flux down the large scale PV gradient. For zonal flows, care is taken to ensure that the resulting force does not generate any net momentum, acting only to redistribute it. Neglect of relative vorticity fluxes in the PV flux yields the parameterization scheme of Gent and McWilliams. The approach is investigated by comparing a zonally-averaged parameterized model with a three dimensional eddy-resolving calculation of flow in a stress-driven channel. The stress at the upper surface is communicated down the water column to the bottom by eddy form drag. Moreover, lateral eddy momentum fluxes act to strengthen and sharpen the mean flow, transporting eastward momentum up its large scale gradient. Both the vertical momentum transfer and lateral, upgradient momentum transfer by eddies, are captured in the parameterized model. The advantages of this approach are demonstrated in two further zonal cases: 1) the spin-down of a baroclinic zone, and 2) the atmospheric jet stream. The time mean TEM approach and the eddy PV flux closure are explored in the context of an eddy-resolving closed basin flow which breaks the zonal symmetry. Decomposition of eddy PV fluxes into components associated with advective and dissipative effects suggest that the component associated with eddy flux divergence, and therefore forcing of the mean flow, is mainly directed down the large scale gradient and can be parameterized as before. Thus, the approach can be used to capture eddy transport properties for both zonal mean and time mean flows. The PV flux embodies both the eddy heat and momentum fluxes and so presents a more unified picture of their transferring properties. It therefore provides a powerful conceptual and practical framework for representing eddies in numerical models of the atmsophere and ocean.
    Description: The work in this thesis was funded by grants from NSF, (OCE-9634331, OCE- 9503895), ONR (NOOOI4-95-1-0967), and by a fellowship from the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change at MIT.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Vortex-motion
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 37 (2007): 1103-1121, doi:10.1175/jpo3041.1.
    Description: The role of mesoscale oceanic eddies is analyzed in a quasigeostrophic coupled ocean–atmosphere model operating at a large Reynolds number. The model dynamics are characterized by decadal variability that involves nonlinear adjustment of the ocean to coherent north–south shifts of the atmosphere. The oceanic eddy effects are diagnosed by the dynamical decomposition method adapted for nonstationary external forcing. The main effects of the eddies are an enhancement of the oceanic eastward jet separating the subpolar and subtropical gyres and a weakening of the gyres. The flow-enhancing effect is due to nonlinear rectification driven by fluctuations of the eddy forcing. This is a nonlocal process involving generation of the eddies by the flow instabilities in the western boundary current and the upstream part of the eastward jet. The eddies are advected by the mean current to the east, where they backscatter into the rectified enhancement of the eastward jet. The gyre-weakening effect, which is due to the time-mean buoyancy component of the eddy forcing, is a result of the baroclinic instability of the westward return currents. The diagnosed eddy forcing is parameterized in a non-eddy-resolving ocean model, as a nonstationary random process, in which the corresponding parameters are derived from the control coupled simulation. The key parameter of the random process—its variance—is related to the large-scale flow baroclinicity index. It is shown that the coupled model with the non-eddy-resolving ocean component and the parameterized eddies correctly simulates climatology and low-frequency variability of the control eddy-resolving coupled solution.
    Description: Funding for this work came from NSF Grants OCE 02-221066 and OCE 03-44094. Additional funding for PB was provided by the U.K. Royal Society Fellowship and by WHOI Grants 27100056 and 52990035.
    Keywords: Ocean dynamics ; Ocean models ; Eddies ; Jets ; Coupled models
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  • 42
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution August 1984
    Description: This thesis addresses several aspects of the problem of determining the effect of the low-frequency eddy variability on the mean circulation of the Western North Atlantic. A framework for this study is first established by scale analysis of the eddy and mean terms in the mean momentum, vorticity, and heat balances in three regions of the Western North Atlantic -- the northern recirculation, the southern recirculation, and the mid-ocean. The data from the last decade of field experiments suggest somewhat different conclusions from the earlier analysis of Harrison (1980). In the momentum balance we confirm that the eddy terms are negligible compared to the lowest order mean geostrophic balance. The eddy term may be an 0(1) term in the vorticity balance only in the northern recirculation region where the mean flow is anisotropic. In the mean heat balance, if the mean temperature advection is scaled using the thermal wind relation, then the eddy heat flux is negligible in the mid-ocean, but it may be important in the recirculation areas. For all the balances the eddy terms are comparable to or an order of magnitude larger than the mean advective terms. We conclude from the scale analysis that the eddy field is most likely to be important in the Gulf Stream recirculation region. These balances are subsequently examined in more detail using data from the Local Dynamics Experiment (LDE). Several inconsistencies are first shown in McWilliams' (1983) model for the mean dynamical balances in the LDE. The sampling uncertainties do not allow us to draw conclusions about the long-term dynamical balances. However, it is shown that if we assume that the linear vorticity balance holds between the surface and the thermocline for a finite record, then the vertical velocity induced by the eddy heat flux divergence is non-zero. The local effect of the mesoscale eddy field on the mean potential vorticity distribution of the Gulf Stream recirculation region is determined from the quasigeostrophic eddy potential vorticity flux. This flux is calculated by finite difference of current and temperature time series from the Local Dynamics Experiment. This long-term array of moorings is the only experimental data from which the complete eddy flux can be calculated. The total eddy flux is dominated by the term due to the time variation in the thickness of isopycnal layers. This thickness flux is an order of magnitude larger than the relative vorticity flux. The total flux is statistically significant and directed 217° T to the southwest with a magnitude of 1.57 x 10 -5 cm/2s. The direction of the eddy flux with respect to the mean large scale potential vorticity gradient from hydrographic data indicates that eddies in this region tend to reduce the mean potential vorticity gradient. The results are qualitatively consistent with numerical model results and with other data from the Gulf Stream recirculation region. We find that the strength of the eddy transfer in the enstrophy cascade is comparable to the source terms in the mean enstrophy balance. The Austauch coefficient for potential vorticity mixing is estimated to be 0(107cm2/sec). An order of magnitude estimate of the enstrophy dissipation due only to the internal wave field shows that other processes must be important in enstrophy dissipation. The measured eddy potential vorticity fluxes are compared to the linear stability model of Gill, Green, and Simmons (1974). An earlier study (Hogg, 1984) has shown agreement between the empirical orthogonal modes of the data and the predicted wavenumbers, growth rates, and phase speeds of the most unstable waves. However, we show substantial disagreement in a comparison of the higher moments the eddy heat and potential vorticity fluxes. Because the critical layer of the model is located near the surface, the model predicts that most of the eddy potential vorticity and eddy heat flux should occur within about 300 meters of the surface. The data show much greater deep eddy heat flux than predicted by the model. It is suggested that the unstable modes in the ocean have a longer vertical scale because of the reduction in the buoyancy frequency near the surface. The evidence for in situ instability is also examined in the decay region of the Gulf Stream from an array of current and temperature recorders. Although there is vertical phase propagation in the empirical orthogonal modes for some of the variables at some of the moorings, there is not much evidence for a strong ongoing process of wave generation.
    Description: This research has been conducted under NSF contract numbers OCE 77-19403, ATM 79-21431, and OCE 82-00154.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Ocean currents
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 39 (2009): 3162-3175, doi:10.1175/2009JPO4239.1.
    Description: This study analyzes anisotropic properties of the material transport by eddies and eddy-driven zonal jets in a general circulation model of the North Atlantic through the analysis of Lagrangian particle trajectories. Spreading rates—defined here as half the rate of change in the particle dispersion—in the zonal direction systematically exceed the meridional rates by an order of magnitude. Area-averaged values for the upper-ocean zonal and meridional spreading rates are approximately 8100 and 1400 m2 s−1, respectively, and in the deep ocean they are 2400 and 200 m2 s−1. The results demonstrate that this anisotropy is mainly due to the action of the transient eddies and not to the shear dispersion associated with the time-mean jets. This property is consistent with the fact that eddies in this study have zonally elongated shapes. With the exception of the upper-ocean subpolar gyre, eddies also cause the superdiffusive zonal spreading, significant variations in the spreading rate in the vertical and meridional directions, and the difference between the westward and eastward spreading.
    Description: Funding for IK was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0346178, 0749722, and 0842834. Funding for PB was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0344094 and OCE 0725796 and by the research grant from the Newton Trust of the University of Cambridge. For JP the acknowledgement is to NSF OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Transport ; Currents ; North Atlantic Ocean
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 39 (2009): 1361-1379, doi:10.1175/2008JPO4096.1.
    Description: Multiple zonal jets are observed in satellite data–based estimates of oceanic velocities, float measurements, and high-resolution numerical simulations of the ocean circulation. This study makes a step toward understanding the dynamics of these jets in the real ocean by analyzing the vertical structure and dynamical balances within multiple zonal jets simulated in an eddy-resolving primitive equation model of the North Atlantic. In particular, the authors focus on the role of eddy flux convergences (“eddy forcing”) in supporting the buoyancy and relative/potential vorticity (PV) anomalies associated with the jets. The results suggest a central role of baroclinic eddies in the barotropic and baroclinic dynamics of the jets, and significant differences in the effects of eddy forcing between the subtropical and subpolar gyres. Additionally, diabatic potential vorticity sources and sinks, associated with vertical diffusion, are shown to play an important role in supporting the potential vorticity anomalies. The resulting potential vorticity profile does not resemble a “PV staircase”—a distinct meridional structure observed in some idealized studies of geostrophic turbulence.
    Description: Funding for IK was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0346178 and 0749722. Funding for PB was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0344094 and OCE 0725796 and by the research grant from the Newton Trust of the University of Cambridge. For JP the acknowledgement is to NSF OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Forcing ; Dynamics ; Jets ; North Atlantic Ocean
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2010. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 40 (2010): 789-801, doi:10.1175/2009JPO4039.1.
    Description: The issue of internal wave–mesoscale eddy interactions is revisited. Previous observational work identified the mesoscale eddy field as a possible source of internal wave energy. Characterization of the coupling as a viscous process provides a smaller horizontal transfer coefficient than previously obtained, with vh 50 m2 s−1 in contrast to νh 200–400 m2 s−1, and a vertical transfer coefficient bounded away from zero, with νυ + (f2/N2)Kh 2.5 ± 0.3 × 10−3 m2 s−1 in contrast to νυ + (f2/N2)Kh = 0 ± 2 × 10−2 m2 s−1. Current meter data from the Local Dynamics Experiment of the PolyMode field program indicate mesoscale eddy–internal wave coupling through horizontal interactions (i) is a significant sink of eddy energy and (ii) plays an O(1) role in the energy budget of the internal wave field.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Internal waves ; Mesoscale processes
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2008. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 38 (2008): 2556-2574, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3666.1.
    Description: Vertical profiles of horizontal velocity obtained during the Mid-Ocean Dynamics Experiment (MODE) provided the first published estimates of the high vertical wavenumber structure of horizontal velocity. The data were interpreted as being representative of the background internal wave field, and thus, despite some evidence of excess downward energy propagation associated with coherent near-inertial features that was interpreted in terms of atmospheric generation, these data provided the basis for a revision to the Garrett and Munk spectral model. These data are reinterpreted through the lens of 30 years of research. Rather than representing the background wave field, atmospheric generation, or even near-inertial wave trapping, the coherent high wavenumber features are characteristic of internal wave capture in a mesoscale strain field. Wave capture represents a generalization of critical layer events for flows lacking the spatial symmetry inherent in a parallel shear flow or isolated vortex.
    Description: Salary support for this analysis was provided by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution bridge support funds.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Ocean dynamics ; Internal waves ; Ocean variability
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2008. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 38 (2008): 133–145, doi:10.1175/2007JPO3782.1.
    Description: Five ice-tethered profilers (ITPs), deployed between 2004 and 2006, have provided detailed potential temperature θ and salinity S profiles from 21 anticyclonic eddy encounters in the central Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean. The 12–35-m-thick eddies have center depths between 42 and 69 m in the Arctic halocline, and are shallower and less dense than the majority of eddies observed previously in the central Canada Basin. They are characterized by anomalously cold θ and low stratification, and have horizontal scales on the order of, or less than, the Rossby radius of deformation (about 10 km). Maximum azimuthal speeds estimated from dynamic heights (assuming cyclogeostrophic balance) are between 9 and 26 cm s−1, an order of magnitude larger than typical ambient flow speeds in the central basin. Eddy θ–S and potential vorticity properties, as well as horizontal and vertical scales, are consistent with their formation by instability of a surface front at about 80°N that appears in historical CTD and expendable CTD (XCTD) measurements. This would suggest eddy lifetimes longer than 6 months. While the baroclinic instability of boundary currents cannot be ruled out as a generation mechanism, it is less likely since deeper eddies that would originate from the deeper-reaching boundary flows are not observed in the survey region.
    Description: The engineering design work for the ITP was initiated by the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Technology Innovation Program (an internal program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution). Prototype development and construction were funded jointly by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Oceanographic Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination Program and Office of Polar Programs (OPP) under Award OCE-0324233. Continued support has been provided by the OPP Arctic Sciences Section under Award ARC-0519899 and internal WHOI funding.
    Keywords: Arctic ; Eddies ; Profilers ; Stability ; Salinity
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2008. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 38 (2008): 1644-1668, doi:10.1175/2007JPO3829.1.
    Description: The mean structure and time-dependent behavior of the shelfbreak jet along the southern Beaufort Sea, and its ability to transport properties into the basin interior via eddies are explored using high-resolution mooring data and an idealized numerical model. The analysis focuses on springtime, when weakly stratified winter-transformed Pacific water is being advected out of the Chukchi Sea. When winds are weak, the observed jet is bottom trapped with a low potential vorticity core and has maximum mean velocities of O(25 cm s−1) and an eastward transport of 0.42 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1). Despite the absence of winds, the current is highly time dependent, with relative vorticity and twisting vorticity often important components of the Ertel potential vorticity. An idealized primitive equation model forced by dense, weakly stratified waters flowing off a shelf produces a mean middepth boundary current similar in structure to that observed at the mooring site. The model boundary current is also highly variable, and produces numerous strong, small anticyclonic eddies that transport the shelf water into the basin interior. Analysis of the energy conversion terms in both the mooring data and the numerical model indicates that the eddies are formed via baroclinic instability of the boundary current. The structure of the eddies in the basin interior compares well with observations from drifting ice platforms. The results suggest that eddies shed from the shelfbreak jet contribute significantly to the offshore flux of heat, salt, and other properties, and are likely important for the ventilation of the halocline in the western Arctic Ocean. Interaction with an anticyclonic basin-scale circulation, meant to represent the Beaufort gyre, enhances the offshore transport of shelf water and results in a loss of mass transport from the shelfbreak jet.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs under Grants 0421904 and 035268 (MS), and by the Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-02-1-0317 (RP and PF). Analysis by AJP was supported by the Office of Naval Research under Grant N00014-97-1-0135 and by the National Science Foundation under Grant OPP-9815303.
    Keywords: Arctic ; Eddies ; Transport ; Currents ; Jets
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2008. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 38 (2008): 1992-2002, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3669.1.
    Description: This paper extends A. Bracco and J. Pedlosky’s investigation of the eddy-formation mechanism in the eastern Labrador Sea by including a more realistic depiction of the boundary current. The quasigeostrophic model consists of a meridional, coastally trapped current with three vertical layers. The current configuration and topographic domain are chosen to match, as closely as possible, the observations of the boundary current and the varying topographic slope along the West Greenland coast. The role played by the bottom-intensified component of the boundary current on the formation of the Labrador Sea Irminger Rings is explored. Consistent with the earlier study, a short, localized bottom-trapped wave is responsible for most of the perturbation energy growth. However, for the instability to occur in the three-layer model, the deepest component of the boundary current must be sufficiently strong, highlighting the importance of the near-bottom flow. The model is able to reproduce important features of the observed vortices in the eastern Labrador Sea, including the polarity, radius, rate of formation, and vertical structure. At the time of formation, the eddies have a surface signature as well as a strong circulation at depth, possibly allowing for the transport of both surface and near-bottom water from the boundary current into the interior basin. This work also supports the idea that changes in the current structure could be responsible for the observed interannual variability in the number of Irminger Rings formed.
    Description: AB is supported by WHOI unrestricted funds, JP by the National Science Foundation OCE 85108600, and RP by 0450658.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Boundary currents ; Quasigeostrophic models ; North Atlantic ; Coastlines
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  • 50
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2010. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 40 (2010): 2341–2347, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4465.1.
    Description: The mean downwelling in an eddy-resolving model of a convective basin is concentrated near the boundary where eddies are shed from the cyclonic boundary current into the interior. It is suggested that the buoyancy-forced downwelling in the Labrador Sea and the Lofoten Basin is similarly concentrated in analogous eddy formation regions along their eastern boundaries. Use of a transformed Eulerian mean depiction of the density transport reveals the central role eddy fluxes play in maintaining the adiabatic nature of the flow in a nonperiodic region where heat is lost from the boundary current. The vorticity balance in the downwelling region is primarily between stretching of planetary vorticity and eddy flux divergence of relative vorticity, although a narrow viscous boundary layer is ultimately important in closing the regional vorticity budget. This overall balance is similar in some ways to the diffusive–viscous balance represented in previous boundary layer theories, and suggests that the downwelling in convective basins may be properly represented in low-resolution climate models if eddy flux parameterizations are adiabatic, identify localized regions of eddy formations, and allow density to be transported far from the region of eddy formations.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants OCE-0726339 and OCE-0850416.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Convection ; Boundary layer ; Climate models ; Thermohaline circulation ; Vorticity
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 39 (2009): 1551-1573, doi:10.1175/2008JPO4152.1.
    Description: A conceptually simple model is presented for predicting the amplitude and periodicity of eddies generated by a steady poleward outflow in a 1½-layer β-plane formulation. The prediction model is rooted in linear quasigeostrophic dynamics but is capable of predicting the amplitude of the β plume generated by outflows in the nonlinear range. Oscillations in the plume amplitude are seen to represent a near-zero group velocity response to an adjustment process that can be traced back to linear dynamics. When the plume-amplitude oscillations become large enough so that the coherent β plume is replaced by a robust eddy field, the eddy amplitude is still constrained by the plume-amplitude prediction model. The eddy periodicity remains close to that of the predictable, near-zero group-velocity linear oscillations. Striking similarities between the patterns of variability in the model and observations south of Indonesia’s Lombok Strait suggest that the processes investigated in this study may play an important role in the generation of the observed eddy field of the Indo-Australian Basin.
    Description: This work was completed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution while TS Durland was supported by the Ocean and Climate Change Institute. MA Spall was supported by NSF Grant OCE-0423975 and J Pedlosky by NSF Grant OCE-0451086. TS Durland acknowledges additional report preparation support from NASA Grant NNG05GN98G.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Intraseasonal variability ; Nonlinear models ; Shallow-water equations ; Plumes
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  • 52
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution August 2000
    Description: The plausibility of local baroclinic instability as a generation mechanism for midocean mesoscale eddies is examined with a two-layer, quasi-geostrophic (QG) model forced by an imposed, horizontally homogeneous, vertically sheared mean flow and dissipated through bottom Ekman friction, Explanations are sought for two observed features of mid-ocean eddies: 1) substantial energy is retained in the baroclinic mode and in the associated deformation radius (Rd) scale, and 2) the ratio of eddy to mean kinetic energy is much larger than one, The tendency of QG to cascade energy into the barotropic mode and into scales larger than Rd can be counteracted when stratification is surface-trapped, for then the baroclinic mode is weakly damped, and hence enhanced, Numerical experiments are performed with both surface-trapped and uniform stratification to quantify this, Experiments with equal Ekman frictions in the two layers are also performed for purposes of contrast, Interpretation is aided with an inequality derived from the energy and enstrophy equations, The inequality forbids the simultaneous retention of substantial energy in the baroclinic mode and in scales near Rd when Ekman friction is symmetric, but points towards surface-trapped stratification and bottomtrapped friction as an environment in which both of these can be achieved, The dissertation also contains a systematic study of geostrophic turbulence forced by nonzonal flows, Narrow zonal jets emerge when shear-induced mean potential vorticity (PV) gradients are small compared to the planetary gradient (β), and energy is a strong function of the angle shear presents to the east-west direction, When shear-induced PV gradients are comparable to β, and the mean shear has a westward component, fields of monopolar vortices form and persist, Energy is asymmetric between fields of cyclones and anticyclones, Such asymmetry was commonly thought not to occur in QG, but is shown here to be introduced by the nonzonal basic state, In both jet and vortex regimes, eddy energy can be much larger than mean kinetic energy, contrary to the expectation that β stabilizes weak shear flows,
    Description: My first three years here were funded by an Office of Naval Research/National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship administered by Jeff Jarocz at the American Society for Engineering Education. During the last three years, most of my support has come the National Science Foundation via grant OCE-9617848, with some additional support coming from the Office of Naval Research via grant N00014-95-1-0824.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Vortex-motion ; Baroclinicity ; Ocean-atmosphere interaction ; Dynamic meteorology
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  • 53
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution August 2000
    Description: With Lagrangian and hydrographic data taken in the deep Brazil Basin, we identify several submesoscale coherent vortices (SCVs). These features contrast with SCV paradigms in that float data indicate approximately equal populations of cyclonic and anticyclonic vortices, and hydrographic data suggest that roughly half exhibit the convex lens shape generally associated with SCVs, while half are instead shaped like a concave lens, with isopycnal surfaces pinched together. There is some evidence that the vortex cores may be enriched in warm, salty North Atlantic Deep Water, suggesting formation in the north or northwest regions of the basin. Data is available from 153 floats which were ballasted for 2500 and 4000 db pressures. They tracked 34 eddies, which are believed to be roughly 30 km in diameter, and rotate with apparent periods of about 30 days. Many floats experienced formation or entrainment events, and destruction or detrainment events, near seamounts.
    Description: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, grants OCE 99-11148 and OCE 94-15509.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Vortex-motion
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  • 54
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution May 2001
    Description: A comparison of monthly biogeochemical measurements made from 1993 to 1995, combined with hydrography and satellite altimetry, was used to observe the impacts of nine eddy events on primary productivity and particle flux in the Sargasso Sea. Measurements of primary production, thorium-234 flux, nitrate+nitrite, and photosynthetic pigments made at the US JGOFS Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site were used. During the three years of this study, four out of six high thorium- 234 flux events over 1000 dpm/m2/d occurred during the passage of an eddy. Primary production nearly as high as the spring bloom maximum was observed in two modewater eddies (May 1993 and July 1995). The 1994 spring bloom at BATS was suppressed by the passage of an anticyclone. Distinct phytoplankton community shifts were observed in mode-water eddies, which had an increased percentage diatoms and dinoflagelletes, and in cyclones, which had an increased percentage cyanobacteria (excluding Prochlorococcus). The difference in the observations of mode-water eddies and cyclones may result from the age of the eddy, which was very important to the biological response. In general, eddies that were one to two months old elicited a large biological response; eddies that were three months old may show a biological response and were accompanied by high thorium flux measurements; eddies that were four months old or older did not show a biological response or high thorium flux. Our conceptual model depicting the importance of temporal changes during eddy upwelling and decay fit the observations well in all 7 upwelling eddies. Additional information is needed to determine the importance of deeper mixed layers and winter mixing to the magnitude of the eddy impacts. Also, sampling generally captured only the beginning, end, and lor edge of an eddy due to the monthly to semi-monthly frequency of the measurements made at BATS. Lagrangian studies, higher resolution time-series, and/or more spatial coverage is needed to provide additional information for improved C and N budgets in the Sargasso Sea and to complete our understanding of the temporal changes that occur in an eddy.
    Description: Funding for this work was provided by NASA and NSF through the JGOFS Synthesis and Modeling Program.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Biogeochemistry
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  • 55
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 1996
    Description: Nonlinear quasigeostrophic flows in two layers over a topographic slope are considered. The evolution depends on the size of two parameters which indicate the degree of nonlinearity at depth. The first measures the importance of relative vorticity advection and the second of stretching vorticity. Two types of isolated vortex are used to examine the parameter dependence. An initially barotropic vortex remains barotropic only when the first parameter is large, otherwise topographic waves dominate at depth. An Initially surface-trapped vortex larger than deformation scale is baroclinically unstable when the second is large, but is stabilized by the slope otherwise. Both parameters are also relevant to cascading geostrophic turbulence. If the stretching parameter is large, a "barotropic cascade" occurs at the deformation radius (Rhines, 1977) and the cascade "arrests" when the relative vorticity parameter is order unity. If small, layer coupling is hindered and the cascade is arrested at the deformation scale, with the flow dominated by isotropic surface vortices. In both cases, the distinction between vortices and waves is transparent when viewing potential vorticity. It is more difficult to identify waves and vortices from the streamfunction fields, because the waves are present in both layers.
    Description: Funding for this research was provided by Office of Naval Research Coastal Science Code, grants N00014-92-J-1643 and N00014-92-J-1528.
    Keywords: Rossby waves ; Eddies ; Ocean circulation ; Turbulence ; Submarine topography
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  • 56
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution June 2003
    Description: Inertial terms dominate the single-gyre ocean model and prevent western-intensification when the viscosity is small. This occurs long before the oceanically-appropriate parameter range. It is demonstrated here that the circulation is controlled if a mechanism for ultimate removal of vorticity exists, even if it is active only in a narrow region near the boundary. Vorticity removal is modeled here as a viscosity enhanced very near the solid boundaries to roughly parameterize missing boundary physics like topographic interaction and three dimensional turbulence over the shelf. This boundary-enhanced viscosity allows western-intensified mean flows even when the inertial boundary width, is much wider than the frictional region because eddies flux vorticity from within the interior streamlines to the frictional region for removal. Using boundary-enhanced viscosity, western-intensified calculations are possible with lower interior viscosity than in previous studies. Interesting behaviors result: a boundary-layer balance novel to the model, calculations with promise for eddy parameterization, eddy-driven gyres rotating opposite the wind, and temporal complexity including basin resonances. I also demonstrate that multiple-gyre calculations have weaker mean circulation than single-gyres with the same viscosity and subtropical forcing. Despite traditional understanding, almost no inter-gyre flux occurs if no-slip boundary conditions are used. The inter-gyre eddy flux is in control only with exactly symmetric gyres and free slip boundaries. Even without the inter-gyre flux, the multiple-gyre circulation is weak because of sinuous instabilities on the jet which are not present in the single-gyre model. These modes efficiently flux vorticity to the boundary and reduce the circulation without an inter-gyre flux, postponing inertial domination to much smaller viscosities. Then sinuous modes in combination with boundary-enhanced viscosity can control the circulation.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Turbulent boundary layer ; Ocean-atmosphere interaction ; Mathematical models
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  • 57
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    Unknown
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution June 2006
    Description: The continuous supply of heat and fresh water from the boundaries to the interior of the Labrador Sea plays an important role for the dynamics of the region and in particular, for the Labrador Sea Water formation. Thus, it is necessary to understand the factors governing the exchange of properties between the boundary and interior. A significant fraction of heat and fresh water, needed to balance the annual heat loss and to contribute to the seasonal freshening of the Labrador Sea, is thought to be provided by coherent long-lived anticyclonic eddies shed by the Irminger Current. The population, some properties, rates and direction of propagation of these anomalies are known but the evolution and the mechanism of their decay are still far from obvious. In this work I investigated their water mass properties and evolution under the strong wintertime forcing using hydrographic data from 1990-2004 and a 1-dimensional mixed layer model. There were 50 eddies found in the hydrographic data record, 48 of which were identified as anticyclones. Vertical structure of the eddies was investigated, leading to the categorization of all the anticyclones into three classes: 12 - with a fresh surface layer and no mixed layer, 18 - without a fresh layer and at least one mixed layer, and 18 with ambiguous vertical structure. Four eddies of the second group appeared to have cores extending to as deep as 1500 m vertically and an isopycnal displacement of 400-600 m. A number of eddies without a fresh water cap contained Labrador Sea Water from the previous year at mid-depths.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Hydrography
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Thesis
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 58
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 2003
    Description: The importance of eddies and nonlinearities in ß-plume dynamics in the deep ocean was investigated using reduced gravity models of the deep ocean forced by a small region of cross isopycnal transport in the interior. The effect of topography on ß-plumes was also examined by placing a Gaussian bump in the forcing region. Despite the fact that the mean flow is weak in the deep ocean interior, it was found that the nonlinearity and instabilities are still important for realistic parameter and forcing values. The flow was dominated by eddies and was remarkably different from what would be expected from a linear solution.
    Description: This study was supported by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Academic Programs Office Fellowship and National Science Foundation Grant 89542700.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Plumes
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Thesis
    Format: application/pdf
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