Eddies in the Hawaiian archipelago region: formation, characterization, and potential implications on larval retention of reef fish
Wren, Johanna L. K.
Kobayashi, Donald R.
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Here we present an assessment of eddy activity in a 3,500 × 2,000 km region of the North Pacific. Eddies were identified and tracked within a numerical simulation that used the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model and an eddy characterization algorithm. Spatially, eddy births were more frequent: (1) nearshore (cyclones) and offshore (anticyclones) on the windward side of the main Hawai‘ian Islands; (2) in patches of cyclones and anticyclones that resembled the dipole structure of wind stress curl along the islands’ leeward side; and (3) in zonal patches of eddies of both polarities west and north of the islands. Temporally, high eddy activities occurred in spring. There was a meridional distribution of eddy lifespans, which increased northward. Cyclones were more abundant, longer‐lived, smaller, and more nonlinear. Reef fish spawning locations in Hawai‘i coincide with the regions of high eddy activity, with nonlinear eddies responsible for high larval retention.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2020. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 125(5), (2020): e2019JC015348, doi:10.1029/2019JC015348.