Hacker Peter

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  • Preprint
    Upper ocean momentum balances in the western equatorial Pacific on the intraseasonal time scale
    ( 2004-12-15) Feng, Ming ; Lukas, Roger ; Hacker, Peter ; Plueddemann, Albert J. ; Weller, Robert A.
    Surface Meteorology, upper ocean current, and hydrographic measurements, collected along a repeated survey pattern and from a central mooring in the western equatorial Pacific during late 1992 to early 1993, were used to analyse upper ocean momentum balances on the intraseasonal time scale. Wind stresses derived from meteorological measurements were compared with numerical weather prediction products. Advection terms in the momentum equations were estimated by planar fits to the current and hydrographic data. Pressure gradient terms were derived from planar fits to the dynamic heights calculated from the hydrographic data, referenced by balancing the momentum equation in a selected layer below the mixed layer. Under prevailing westerly winds, westward pressure gradient forcings of 2x10-7 m s-2 were set up in the western equatorial Pacific, countering the surface wind, while the total advection tended to accelerate the eastward momentum in the surface layer. During both calm wind and westerly wind burst periods, zonal turbulent momentum fluxes estimated from the ocean budgets were comparable with those estimated from microstructure dissipation rate measurements and with zonal wind stresses, so that the zonal momentum could be balanced within error bars. The meridional momentum balances were noisier, which might be due to the fact that the short meridional length scale of the equatorial inertial-gravity waves could contaminate the dynamic signals in the mixed temporal/spatial sampling data, so that the meridional gradient estimates from the planar fits could be biased.
  • Article
    Low-frequency eddy modulations in the Hawaiian Lee Countercurrent : observations and connection to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation
    (American Geophysical Union, 2011-12-08) Yoshida, Sachiko ; Qiu, Bo ; Hacker, Peter
    Interannual-to-decadal time scale eddy variability in the Hawaiian Lee Countercurrent (HLCC) band is investigated using the available sea surface height, sea surface temperature, and surface wind stress data sets. In the HLCC band of 17°N–21.7°N and 170E°–160°W, the prevailing interannual eddy kinetic energy (EKE) signals show enhanced eddy activities in 1993–1998 and 2002–2006, and subpar eddy activities in 1999–2001 and 2007–2009. These interannual EKE signals exhibit little connection to the zonal HLCC velocity changes generated by the dipolar wind stress curl forcing in the immediate lee of the island of Hawaii. Instead, they are highly correlated to the time series of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index. Through a budget analysis for the meridional temperature gradient along the HLCC, we find that during the positive phase of the PDO index, the surface heat flux forcing induces cold (warm) sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies to the north (south) of the HLCC, intensifying the vertical shear between the surface, eastward-flowing HLCC and the subsurface, westward-flowing North Equatorial Current (NEC). This increased vertical shear enhances the baroclinic instability of the HLCC-NEC system and leads to a higher regional EKE level. The opposite processes occur when the PDO switches to a negative phase with the resulting lowered EKE level along the HLCC band. Compared to the surface heat flux forcing, the Ekman flux convergence forcing is found to play a minor role in modifying the meridional SST changes along the HLCC band.
  • Preprint
    The Kuroshio Extension and its recirculation gyres
    ( 2009-07-01) Jayne, Steven R. ; Hogg, Nelson G. ; Waterman, Stephanie N. ; Rainville, Luc ; Donohue, Kathleen A. ; Watts, D. Randolph ; Tracey, Karen L. ; McClean, Julie L. ; Maltrud, Mathew E. ; Qiu, Bo ; Chen, Shuiming ; Hacker, Peter
    This paper reports on the strength and structure of the Kuroshio Extension and its recirculation gyres. In the time average, quasi-permanent recirculation gyres are found to the north and south of the Kuroshio Extension jet. The characteristics of recirculation gyres are determined from the combined observations from the Kuroshio Extension System Study (KESS) field program program (June 2004 – June 2006) and include current meters, pressure and current recording inverted echo sounders, and sub-surface floats. The position and strength of the recirculation gyres simulated by a high-resolution numerical model are found to be consistent with the observations. The circulation pattern that is revealed is of a complex system of multiple recirculation gyres that are embedded in the crests and troughs of the quasi-permanent meanders of the Kuroshio Extension. At the location of the KESS array, the Kuroshio Extension jet and its recirculation gyres transport of about 114 Sv. This represents a 2.7-fold increase in the transport of the current compared to the Kuroshio’s transport at Cape Ashizuri before it separates from the coast and flows eastward into the open ocean. This enhancement in the current’s transport comes from the development of the flanking recirculation gyres. Estimates from an array of inverted echo sounders and a high-resolution ocean general circulation model are of similar magnitude.
  • Article
    Observations of the subtropical mode water evolution from the Kuroshio Extension System Study
    (American Meteorological Society, 2006-03) Qiu, Bo ; Hacker, Peter ; Chen, Shuiming ; Donohue, Kathleen A. ; Watts, D. Randolph ; Mitsudera, Humio ; Hogg, Nelson G. ; Jayne, Steven R.
    Properties and seasonal evolution of North Pacific Ocean subtropical mode water (STMW) within and south of the Kuroshio Extension recirculation gyre are analyzed from profiling float data and additional hydrographic and shipboard ADCP measurements taken during 2004. The presence of an enhanced recirculation gyre and relatively low mesoscale eddy variability rendered this year favorable for the formation of STMW. Within the recirculation gyre, STMW formed from late-winter convection that reached depths greater than 450 m near the center of the gyre. The lower boundary of STMW, corresponding to σθ 25.5 kg m−3, was set by the maximum depth of the late-winter mixed layer. Properties within the deep portions of the STMW layer remained largely unchanged as the season progressed. In contrast, the upper boundary of the STMW layer eroded steadily as the seasonal thermocline deepened from late April to August. Vertical eddy diffusivity responsible for this erosion was estimated from a budget analysis of potential vorticity to be in the range of 2–5 × 10−4 m2 s−1. The latitudinal extent of the STMW formation was narrow, extending from 30°N to the Kuroshio Extension jet near 35°N. South of 30°N, STMW did not form locally but was transported from the recirculation gyre by lateral induction.
  • Article
    The Kuroshio Extension northern recirculation gyre : profiling float measurements and forcing mechanism
    (American Meteorological Society, 2008-08) Qiu, Bo ; Chen, Shuiming ; Hacker, Peter ; Hogg, Nelson G. ; Jayne, Steven R. ; Sasaki, Hideharu
    Middepth, time-mean circulation in the western North Pacific Ocean (28°–45°N, 140°–165°E) is investigated using drift information from the profiling floats deployed in the Kuroshio Extension System Study (KESS) and the International Argo programs. A well-defined, cyclonic recirculation gyre (RG) is found to exist north of the Kuroshio Extension jet, confined zonally between the Japan Trench (145°E) and the Shatsky Rise (156°E), and bordered to the north by the subarctic boundary along 40°N. This northern RG, which is simulated favorably in the eddy-resolving OGCM for the Earth Simulator (OFES) hindcast run model, has a maximum volume transport at 26.4 Sv across 159°E and its presence persists on the interannual and longer time scales. An examination of the time-mean x-momentum balance from the OFES hindcast run output reveals that horizontal convergence of Reynolds stresses works to accelerate both the eastward-flowing Kuroshio Extension jet and a westward mean flow north of the meandering jet. The fact that the northern RG is eddy driven is further confirmed by examining the turbulent Sverdrup balance, in which convergent eddy potential vorticity fluxes are found to induce the cyclonic RG across the background potential vorticity gradient field. For the strength of the simulated northern RG, the authors find the eddy dissipation effect to be important as well.