Barnes Brian B.

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Brian B.

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Physical characteristics and evolution of a long-lasting mesoscale cyclonic eddy in the Straits of Florida

2022-03-30 , Zhang, Yingjun , Hu, Chuanmin , Kourafalou, Vassiliki , Liu, Yonggang , McGillicuddy, Dennis J. , Barnes, Brian B. , Hummon, Julia M.

Ocean eddies along the Loop Current (LC)/Florida Current (FC) front have been studied for decades, yet studies of the entire evolution of individual eddies are rare. Here, satellite altimetry and ocean color observations, Argo profiling float records and shipborne acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) measurements, together with high-resolution simulations from the global Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) are used to investigate the physical and biochemical properties, 3-dimensional (3-D) structure, and evolution of a long-lasting cyclonic eddy (CE) in the Straits of Florida (SoF) along the LC/FC front during April–August 2017. An Angular Momentum Eddy Detection Algorithm (AMEDA) is used to detect and track the CE during its evolution process. The long-lasting CE is found to form along the eastern edge of the LC on April 9th, and remained quasi-stationary for about 3 months (April 23 to July 15) off the Dry Tortugas (DT) until becoming much smaller due to its interaction with the FC and topography. This frontal eddy is named a Tortugas Eddy (TE) and is characterized with higher Chlorophyll (Chl) and lower temperature than surrounding waters, with a mean diameter of ∼100 km and a penetrating depth of ∼800 m. The mechanisms that contributed to the growth and evolution of this long-lasting TE are also explored, which reveal the significant role of oceanic internal instability.

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Bio‐optical, physical, and chemical properties of a loop current eddy in the Gulf of Mexico

2023-02-25 , Zhang, Yingjun , Hu, Chuanmin , Barnes, Brian B. , Liu, Yonggang , Kourafalou, Vassiliki H. , McGillicuddy, Dennis J. , Cannizzaro, Jennifer P. , English, David C. , Lembke, Chad

Multi‐sensor data collected with in situ and satellite instruments during August 2015 were used to understand how the three‐dimensional bio‐optical properties of a Loop Current Eddy (LCE) in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) contrast those of the background waters, and how these properties are related to physical and chemical properties. With a surface radius of ∼150 km and vertical extension to 1,400–1,500 m, the LCE was found to have highly stratified waters in two layers, with one lying just below the mixed layer (16 m) and the other coinciding with the pycnocline (∼120–200 m within the eddy). Strong contrasts were found in the bio‐optical properties (chlorophyll‐a concentration, absorption of particulate and dissolved matters, particulate backscattering, and beam‐c attenuation) across the eddy core, eddy edge, and surrounding waters. Absorption coefficients (400 nm) of surface particulate and dissolved matters were ∼4 times higher in the surrounding waters than in the eddy core, while surface reflectance (400 nm) in the eddy core was ∼7 times higher than in the surrounding waters. The magnitude of deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) was comparable (0.3–0.33 mg/m3) in all waters, but the depth of DCM in the eddy core (∼115 m) was much deeper than in the surrounding waters (60–75 m). These contrasts were found to correspond to different water masses with different physical (temperature, density, and buoyancy frequency) and chemical properties (salinity and dissolved oxygen concentration), where physical processes (river plume advection and eddy‐induced downwelling) appeared to drive the changes in bio‐optical properties.