Physical characteristics and evolution of a long-lasting mesoscale cyclonic eddy in the Straits of Florida
McGillicuddy, Dennis J.
Barnes, Brian B.
Hummon, Julia M.
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KeywordSatellite altimetry; Ocean color; Argo profiling float; ADCP; Global HYCOM; Cyclonic eddy; Straits of Florida; Dry Tortugas
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.
© The Author(s), 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Zhang, Y., Hu, C., Kourafalou, V., Liu, Y., McGillicuddy, D., Barnes, B., & Hummon, J. Physical characteristics and evolution of a long-lasting mesoscale cyclonic eddy in the Straits of Florida. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9, (2022): 779450, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.779450.
Suggested CitationZhang, Y., Hu, C., Kourafalou, V., Liu, Y., McGillicuddy, D., Barnes, B., & Hummon, J. (2022). Physical characteristics and evolution of a long-lasting mesoscale cyclonic eddy in the Straits of Florida. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9, 779450.
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