Eddy-induced particle dispersion in the near-surface North Atlantic
Rypina, Irina I.
Kamenkovich, Igor V.
Berloff, Pavel S.
Pratt, Lawrence J.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordNorth Atlantic Ocean; Diffusion; Dispersion; Eddies; Lagrangian circulation/transport; Trajectories
This study investigates the anisotropic properties of the eddy-induced material transport in the near-surface North Atlantic from two independent datasets, one simulated from the sea surface height altimetry and one derived from real-ocean surface drifters, and systematically examines the interactions between the mean- and eddy-induced material transport in the region. The Lagrangian particle dispersion, which is widely used to characterize the eddy-induced tracer fluxes, is quantified by constructing the “spreading ellipses.” The analysis consistently demonstrates that this dispersion is spatially inhomogeneous and strongly anisotropic. The spreading is larger and more anisotropic in the subtropical than in the subpolar gyre, and the largest ellipses occur in the Gulf Stream vicinity. Even at times longer than half a year, the spreading exhibits significant nondiffusive behavior in some parts of the domain. The eddies in this study are defined as deviations from the long-term time-mean. The contributions from the climatological annual cycle, interannual, and subannual (shorter than one year) variability are investigated, and the latter is shown to have the strongest effect on the anisotropy of particle spreading. The influence of the mean advection on the eddy-induced particle spreading is investigated using the “eddy-following-full-trajectories” technique and is found to be significant. The role of the Ekman advection is, however, secondary. The pronounced anisotropy of particle dispersion is expected to have important implications for distributing oceanic tracers, and for parameterizing eddy-induced tracer transfer in non-eddy-resolving models.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 42 (2012): 2206–2228, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0191.1.
Suggested CitationJournal of Physical Oceanography 42 (2012): 2206–2228
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Dispersal and population connectivity in the deep North Atlantic estimated from physical transport processes Etter, Ron J.; Bower, Amy S. (2015-06)Little is known about how larvae disperse in deep ocean currents despite how critical estimates of population connectivity are for ecology, evolution and conservation. Estimates of connectivity can provide important ...
Modeling turbulent dispersion on the North Flank of Georges Bank using Lagrangian Particle Methods Proehl, Jeffrey A.; Lynch, Daniel R.; McGillicuddy, Dennis J.; Ledwell, James R. (2004-09-29)Circulation and transport at the North Flank of Georges Bank are studied using a data-assimilative 3-D model of frontal dynamics under stratified, tidally energetic conditions over steep topography. The circulation model ...
The impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation on the uptake and accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 by North Atlantic Ocean mode waters Levine, Naomi M.; Doney, Scott C.; Lima, Ivan D.; Wanninkhof, Rik; Bates, Nicholas R.; Feely, Richard A. (American Geophysical Union, 2011-09-21)The North Atlantic Ocean accounts for about 25% of the global oceanic anthropogenic carbon sink. This basin experiences significant interannual variability primarily driven by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). A suite ...