Horizontal eddy energy flux in the world oceans diagnosed from altimetry data
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During the propagation of coherent mesoscale eddies, they directly or indirectly induce many effects and interactions at different scales, implying eddies are actually serving as a kind of energy carrier or energy source for these eddy-related dynamic processes. To quantify this dynamically significant energy flow, the multi-year averaged horizontal eddy energy fluxes (EEFs) were estimated by using satellite altimetry data and a two-layer model based on hydrographic climatology. There is a strong net westward transport of eddy energy estimated at the mean value of ~13.3 GW north of 5°N and ~14.6 GW at the band 5°S ~ 44°S in the Southern Hemisphere. However, poleward of 44°S east-propagating eddies carry their energy eastward with an averaged net flux of ~3.2 GW. If confirmed, it would signify that geostrophic eddies not only contain the most of oceanic kinetic energy (KE), but also carry and spread a significant amount of energy with them.
© The Author(s), 2014. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 4 (2014): 5316, doi:10.1038/srep05316.
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