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Caribbean Current and eddies as observed by surface drifters

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dc.contributor.author Richardson, Philip L.
dc.date.accessioned 2006-01-25T13:54:02Z
dc.date.available 2006-01-25T13:54:02Z
dc.date.issued 2004-11-29
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/443
dc.description Author Posting. © The Author, 2004. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B. V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 52 (2005): 429-463, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2004.11.001.
dc.description.abstract Recent satellite-tracked surface drifter trajectories were analyzed to describe the mean currents and eddies in the Caribbean Sea. The structure of the Caribbean Current and its variability were determined from high-resolution ½ degree maps of the mean velocity and eddy kinetic energy. Looping drifter trajectories were used to identify discrete cyclones and anticyclones, and their characteristics were described and related to the structure of the mean flow. The translation rate of eddies in different areas was found to be similar to the mean velocity of the local background flow fields suggesting that the eddies were largely advected by the background flow. Ten energetic anticyclones translated westward at 13 cm/sec in the Venezuela and Colombia Basins. These anticyclones tended to lie in two bands, centered near 15ºN and 17ºN, coinciding with two jets of the Caribbean Current. The northern weaker jet contains water primarily from the North Atlantic, the southern stronger jet contains water from the tropical and South Atlantic. The anticyclones are thought to have formed in the eastern Caribbean from the anticyclonic vorticity derived from North Brazil Current rings. The ring vorticity enters the eastern Caribbean through island passages and is probably amplified by the anticyclonic shear on the northern side of the jets. Southwest of Cuba a cyclone-anticyclone pair was observed to slowly (~ 2 cm/sec) translate westward into the Yucatan Current. The cyclone was tracked for 10.5 months with four drifters, making it the longest-tracked of the Caribbean eddies. en
dc.description.sponsorship Funding was provided by National Science Foundation grants OCE 97-29765 and OCE 01-36477. en
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dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2004.11.001
dc.subject Surface drifters en
dc.subject Caribbean Current en
dc.subject Caribbean eddies en
dc.subject Eddies en
dc.subject North Brazil Current rings en
dc.subject Meridional overturning circulation en
dc.subject Intra-Americas Seas en
dc.subject Caribbean Sea en
dc.subject Colombia Basin en
dc.subject Venezuela Basin en
dc.subject Yucatan Basin en
dc.subject Antilles en
dc.title Caribbean Current and eddies as observed by surface drifters en
dc.type Preprint en


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