García-Carrillo Paula

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  • Article
    Dominant circulation patterns of the deep Gulf of Mexico
    (American Meteorological Society, 2018-03-01) Perez-Brunius, Paula ; Furey, Heather H. ; Bower, Amy S. ; Hamilton, Peter ; Candela, Julio ; García-Carrillo, Paula ; Leben, Robert
    The large-scale circulation of the bottom layer of the Gulf of Mexico is analyzed, with special attention to the historically least studied western basin. The analysis is based on 4 years of data collected by 158 subsurface floats parked at 1500 and 2500 m and is complemented with data collected by current meter moorings in the western basin during the same period. Three main circulation patterns stand out: a cyclonic boundary current, a cyclonic gyre in the abyssal plain, and the very high eddy kinetic energy observed in the eastern Gulf. The boundary current and the cyclonic gyre appear as distinct features, which interact in the western tip of the Yucatan shelf. The persistence and continuity of the boundary current is addressed. Although high variability is observed, the boundary flow serves as a pathway for water to travel around the western basin in approximately 2 years. An interesting discovery is the separation of the boundary current over the northwestern slope of the Yucatan shelf. The separation and retroflection of the along-slope current appears to be a persistent feature and is associated with anticyclonic eddies whose genesis mechanism remains to be understood. As the boundary flow separates, it feeds into the westward flow of the deep cyclonic gyre. The location of this gyre—named the Sigsbee Abyssal Gyre—coincides with closed geostrophic contours, so eddy–topography interaction via bottom form stresses may drive this mean flow. The contribution to the cyclonic vorticity of the gyre by modons traveling under Loop Current eddies is discussed.
  • Article
    A Deep Water Dispersion Experiment in the Gulf of Mexico
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-09-18) Meunier, Thomas ; Pérez-Brunius, Paula ; Rodríguez Outerelo, Javier ; García-Carrillo, Paula ; Ronquillo-Mendez, Argelia ; Furey, Heather H. ; Ramsey, Andree L. ; Bower, Amy S.
    The Deep Water Horizon oil spill dramatically impacted the Gulf of Mexico from the seafloor to the surface. While dispersion of contaminants at the surface has been extensively studied, little is known about deep water dispersion properties. This study describes the results of the Deep Water Dispersion Experiment (DWDE), which consisted of the release of surface drifters and acoustically tracked RAFOS floats drifting at 300 and 1,500 dbar in the Gulf of Mexico. We show that surface diffusivity is elevated and decreases with depth: on average, diffusivity at 1,500 dbar is 5 times smaller than at the surface, suggesting that the dispersion of contaminants at depth is a significantly slower process than at the surface. This study also examines the turbulent regimes driving the dispersion, although conflicting evidences and large uncertainties do not allow definitive conclusions. At all depths, while the growth of dispersion and kurtosis with time supports the possibility of an exponential regime at very short time scales, indicating that early dispersion is nonlocal, finite size Lyapunov exponents support the hypothesis of local dispersion, suggesting that eddies of size comparable to the initial separation (6 km), may dominate the early dispersion. At longer time scales, the quadratic growth of dispersion is indicative of a ballistic regime, where a mean shear flow would be the dominating process. Examination of the along- and across-bathymetry components of float velocities supports the idea that boundary currents could be the source for this shear dispersion.
  • Technical Report
    The Deep Water Dispersion Experiment: RAFOS float data report June 2016 - January 2019
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-12) Ramsey, Andree L. ; Furey, Heather H. ; Bower, Amy S. ; Pérez-Brunius, Paula ; García-Carrillo, Paula
    This is the final data report for all acoustically-tracked subsurface RAFOS floats deployed for the “Deep Water Dispersion Experiment: RAFOS Float Study in Support of Analysis of Possible Consequences of Large Scale Oil-Spills under Various Scenarios” (DWDE). This study is part of the larger program “Deep and Shallow Particle Dispersion and Biological Connectivity over the Continental Slope in the Western Gulf of Mexico”, of the Gulf of Mexico Research Consortium (CIGoM). The objective of the DWDE project was to measure and evaluate the ocean circulation at various depths in order to estimate the rates and pathways by which a passive tracer (e.g. pollutant, nutrients, etc.) would spread. The experiment consisted of the deployment 93 RAFOS floats and five sound source moorings (needed for tracking the floats underwater) over the course of five cruises, between June 2016 and January 2019, in the Perdido region of the Gulf of Mexico. The floats were deployed nearly simultaneously at stacked depths of 300 and 1500 dbar, in sets of 2-4 instruments per station, for calculating dispersion statistics. Mission lengths for the floats were set to ~12 to 18 months. Included in this report are cruise summaries, statistics and notes on sound source and float performance, sound source drift calculations, description of the RAFOS float data processing steps, and figures.