Fratantoni David M.

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Fratantoni
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David M.
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  • Technical Report
    North Brazil Current Rings Experiment : RAFOS float data report : November 1998 – June 2000
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2002-07) Wooding, Christine M. ; Richardson, Philip L. ; Pacheco, Marguerite A. ; Glickson, Deborah A. ; Fratantoni, David M.
    Twenty-one RAFOS floats were tracked at depths of 200-1000 meters in and around several North Brazil Current Rings between November 1998 and June 2000. This was part of an experiment to study the role of these current rings in transporting upper level South Atlantic water across the equatorial-tropical gyre boundary into the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. The float trajectories in combination with surface drifters and satellite imagery reveal the sometimes complex life histories of several rings and their fate as they collide with the Lesser Antilles Islands. This report describes the float trajectories, the velocity, temperature, and depth time series, and a preliminary analysis of the float data.
  • Article
    The evolution and demise of North Brazil Current rings
    (American Meteorological Society, 2006-07) Fratantoni, David M. ; Richardson, Philip L.
    Subsurface float and surface drifter observations illustrate the structure, evolution, and eventual demise of 10 North Brazil Current (NBC) rings as they approached and collided with the Lesser Antilles in the western tropical Atlantic Ocean. Upon encountering the shoaling topography east of the Lesser Antilles, most of the rings were deflected abruptly northward and several were observed to completely engulf the island of Barbados. The near-surface and subthermocline layers of two rings were observed to cleave or separate upon encountering shoaling bathymetry between Tobago and Barbados, with the resulting portions each retaining an independent and coherent ringlike vortical circulation. Surface drifters and shallow (250 m) subsurface floats that looped within NBC rings were more likely to enter the Caribbean through the passages of the Lesser Antilles than were deeper (500 or 900 m) floats, indicating that the regional bathymetry preferentially inhibits transport of intermediate-depth ring components. No evidence was found for the wholesale passage of rings through the island chain.
  • Preprint
    The mid-depth circulation of the northwestern tropical Atlantic observed by floats
    ( 2009-05-29) Lankhorst, Matthias ; Fratantoni, David M. ; Ollitrault, Michel ; Richardson, Philip L. ; Send, Uwe ; Zenk, Walter
    A comprehensive analysis of velocity data from subsurface floats in the northwestern tropical Atlantic at two depth layers is presented: one representing the Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW, pressure range 600–1050 dbar), the other the upper North Atlantic Deep Water (uNADW, pressure range 1200–2050 dbar). New data from three independent research programs are combined with previously available data to achieve blanket coverage in space for the AAIW layer, while coverage in the uNADW remains more intermittent. Results from the AAIW mainly confirm previous studies on the mean flow, namely the equatorial zonal and the boundary currents, but clarify details on pathways, mostly by virtue of the spatial data coverage that sets float observations apart from e. g. shipborne or mooring observations. Mean transports in each of five zonal equatorial current bands is found to be between 2.7 and 4.5 Sv. Pathways carrying AAIW northward beyond the North Brazil Undercurrent are clearly visible in the mean velocity field, in particular a northward transport of 3.7 Sv across 16° N between the Antilles islands and the Mid- Atlantic Ridge. New maps of Lagrangian eddy kinetic energy and integral time scales are presented to quantify mesoscale activity. For the uNADW, mean flow and mesoscale properties are discussed as data availability allows. Trajectories in the uNADWeast of the Lesser Antilles reveal interactions between the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC) and the basin interior, which can explain recent hydrographic observations of changes in composition of DWBC water along its southward flow.
  • Technical Report
    North Brazil Current Rings Experiment : surface drifter data report, November 1998-June 2000
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2000-07) Glickson, Deborah A. ; Fratantoni, David M. ; Wooding, Christine M. ; Richardson, Philip L.
    This data report summarzes 45 surface drifter trajectories collected between November 1998 and June 2000 as part of the North Brazil Current (NBC) Rings Experiment. NBC rings have been proposed as one of several important mechanisms for the transport of South Atlantic upper-ocean water across the equatorial-tropical gyre boundary and into the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. Such transport is required to complete the meridional overturning cell in the Atlantic forced by the high-latitude production and southward export of North Atlantic Deep Water. The goal of this program is to obtain, for the first time, comprehensive observations of the NBC retroflection, the NBC ring formation process, and the physical structure and properties of NBC rings as they translate northwestward along the low-latitude western boundary. A total of 45 drifters were deployed. Twenty-four of these looped anticyclonically within the five rings identified during this experiment. Seven of the looping ring drifters entered the Caribbean, while the rest moved northward along the eastern flank of the Lesser Antiles.