Bower Amy S.

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Amy S.

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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Article
    The dynamical structure of a warm core ring as I\inferred from glider observations and along-track altimetry
    (MDPI, 2021-06-23) Meunier, Thomas ; Pallás-Sanz, Enric ; de Marez, Charly ; Pérez, Juan ; Tenreiro, Miguel ; Ruiz-Angulo, Angel ; Bower, Amy S.
    This study investigates the vertical structure of the dynamical properties of a warm-core ring in the Gulf of Mexico (Loop Current ring) using glider observations. We introduce a new method to correct the glider’s along-track coordinate, which is, in general, biased by the unsteady relative movements of the glider and the eddy, yielding large errors on horizontal derivatives. Here, we take advantage of the synopticity of satellite along-track altimetry to apply corrections on the glider’s position by matching in situ steric height with satellite-measured sea surface height. This relocation method allows recovering the eddy’s azimuthal symmetry, precisely estimating the rotation axis position, and computing reliable horizontal derivatives. It is shown to be particularly appropriate to compute the eddy’s cyclo-geostrophic velocity, relative vorticity, and shear strain, which are otherwise out of reach when using the glider’s raw traveled distance as a horizontal coordinate. The Ertel potential vorticity (PV) structure of the warm core ring is studied in details, and we show that the PV anomaly is entirely controlled by vortex stretching. Sign reversal of the PV gradient across the water column suggests that the ring might be baroclinically unstable. The PV gradient is also largely controlled by gradients of the vortex stretching term. We also show that the ring’s total energy partition is strongly skewed, with available potential energy being 3 times larger than kinetic energy. The possible impact of this energy partition on the Loop Current rings longevity is also discussed.
  • Article
    The Loop Current: Observations of deep eddies and topographic waves.
    (American Meteorological Society, 2019-05-29) Hamilton, Peter ; Bower, Amy S. ; Furey, Heather H. ; Leben, Robert ; Pérez-Brunius, Paula
    A set of float trajectories, deployed at 1500- and 2500-m depths throughout the deep Gulf of Mexico from 2011 to 2015, are analyzed for mesoscale processes under the Loop Current (LC). In the eastern basin, December 2012–June 2014 had >40 floats per month, which was of sufficient density to allow capturing detailed flow patterns of deep eddies and topographic Rossby waves (TRWs), while two LC eddies formed and separated. A northward advance of the LC front compresses the lower water column and generates an anticyclone. For an extended LC, baroclinic instability eddies (of both signs) develop under the southward-propagating large-scale meanders of the upper-layer jet, resulting in a transfer of eddy kinetic energy (EKE) to the lower layer. The increase in lower-layer EKE occurs only over a few months during meander activity and LC eddy detachment events, a relatively short interval compared with the LC intrusion cycle. Deep EKE of these eddies is dispersed to the west and northwest through radiating TRWs, of which examples were found to the west of the LC. Because of this radiation of EKE, the lower layer of the eastern basin becomes relatively quiescent, particularly in the northeastern basin, when the LC is retracted and a LC eddy has departed. A mean west-to-east, anticyclone–cyclone dipole flow under a mean LC was directly comparable to similar results from a previous moored LC array and also showed connections to an anticlockwise boundary current in the southeastern basin.
  • Article
    Hydrography of the Gulf of Mexico using autonomous floats
    (American Meteorological Society, 2018-04-04) Hamilton, Peter ; Leben, Robert ; Bower, Amy S. ; Furey, Heather H. ; Perez-Brunius, Paula
    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.
  • Article
    Seasonal and interannual variations of Irminger ring formation and boundary–interior heat exchange in FLAME
    (American Meteorological Society, 2016-05-23) de Jong, Marieke F. ; Bower, Amy S. ; Furey, Heather H.
    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.
  • Article
    Assessment of numerical simulations of deep circulation and variability in the Gulf of Mexico using recent observations
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-04-08) Morey, Steven L. ; Gopalakrishnan, Ganesh ; Pallás-Sanz, Enric ; Azevedo Correia De Souza, Joao Marcos ; Donohue, Kathleen A. ; Pérez-Brunius, Paula ; Dukhovskoy, Dmitry S. ; Chassignet, Eric P. ; Cornuelle, Bruce D. ; Bower, Amy S. ; Furey, Heather H. ; Hamilton, Peter ; Candela, Julio
    Three simulations of the circulation in the Gulf of Mexico (the “Gulf”) using different numerical general circulation models are compared with results of recent large-scale observational campaigns conducted throughout the deep (>1500 m) Gulf. Analyses of these observations have provided new understanding of large-scale mean circulation features and variability throughout the deep Gulf. Important features include cyclonic flow along the continental slope, deep cyclonic circulation in the western Gulf, a counterrotating pair of cells under the Loop Current region, and a cyclonic cell to the south of this pair. These dominant circulation features are represented in each of the ocean model simulations, although with some obvious differences. A striking difference between all the models and the observations is that the simulated deep eddy kinetic energy under the Loop Current region is generally less than one-half of that computed from observations. A multidecadal integration of one of these numerical simulations is used to evaluate the uncertainty of estimates of velocity statistics in the deep Gulf computed from limited-length (4 years) observational or model records. This analysis shows that the main deep circulation features identified from the observational studies appear to be robust and are not substantially impacted by variability on time scales longer than the observational records. Differences in strengths and structures of the circulation features are identified, however, and quantified through standard error analysis of the statistical estimates using the model solutions.
  • Article
    Deep eddies in the Gulf of Mexico observed with floats
    (American Meteorological Society, 2018-11-07) Furey, Heather H. ; Bower, Amy S. ; Perez-Brunius, Paula ; Hamilton, Peter ; Leben, Robert
    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.