Ajayi, A., Le Sommer, J., Chassignet, E., Molines, J. - M., Xu, X., Albert, A., et al. (2020). Spatial and Temporal Variability of the North Atlantic Eddy Field From Two Kilometric-Resolution Ocean Models.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 125(5).
Abstract: Ocean circulation is dominated by turbulent geostrophic eddy fields with typical scales ranging from 10 to 300 km. At mesoscales (>50 km), the size of eddy structures varies regionally following the Rossby radius of deformation. The variability of the scale of smaller eddies is not well known due to the limitations in existing numerical simulations and satellite capability. Nevertheless, it is well established that oceanic flows (<50 km) generally exhibit strong seasonality. In this study, we present a basin‐scale analysis of coherent structures down to 10 km in the North Atlantic Ocean using two submesoscale‐permitting ocean models, a NEMO‐based North Atlantic simulation with a horizontal resolution of 1/60 (NATL60) and an HYCOM‐based Atlantic simulation with a horizontal resolution of 1/50 (HYCOM50). We investigate the spatial and temporal variability of the scale of eddy structures with a particular focus on eddies with scales of 10 to 100 km, and examine the impact of the seasonality of submesoscale energy on the seasonality and distribution of coherent structures in the North Atlantic. Our results show an overall good agreement between the two models in terms of surface wave number spectra and seasonal variability. The key findings of the paper are that (i) the mean size of ocean eddies show strong seasonality; (ii) this seasonality is associated with an increased population of submesoscale eddies (10�50 km) in winter; and (iii) the net release of available potential energy associated with mixed layer instability is responsible for the emergence of the increased population of submesoscale eddies in wintertime.
Arbic, B. K., Wallcraft, A. J., & Metzger, E. J. (2010). Concurrent simulation of the eddying general circulation and tides in a global ocean model.
Ocean Modelling, 32(3-4), 175–187.
Chassignet, E. P., & Xu, X. (2017). Impact of Horizontal Resolution (1/12° to 1/50°) on Gulf Stream Separation, Penetration, and Variability.
J. Phys. Oceanogr., 47(8), 1999–2021.
Dukhovskoy, D. S., Leben, R. R., Chassignet, E. P., Hall, C. A., Morey, S. L., & Nedbor-Gross, R. (2015). Characterization of the uncertainty of loop current metrics using a multidecadal numerical simulation and altimeter observations.
Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 100, 140–158.
Kvaleberg, E. (2004).
Generation of Cold Core Filaments and Eddies Through Baroclinic Instability on a Continental Shelf. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: The formation of cold core filaments on an idealized continental shelf is investigated using a numerical model to simulate the ocean's response to surface cooling. A horizontal density gradient forms because of uneven buoyancy loss due to the sloping bottom, and this gradient induces an alongshelf current in thermal wind balance, that in time becomes unstable. As the instabilities grow, filaments, and later eddies, are generated so that dense water near the coast is mixed offshore. Scaling arguments of the filament wavelength indicate that the current is baroclinically unstable, and an analytical model of the frontal expansion with time is in very good agreement with the simulations. This study was inspired by satellite observations of sea surface temperature on the West Florida Shelf during the winter months, in which it is clearly seen that cold core filaments extend from a thermal front. Numerical experiments are therefore designed to allow for reliable comparisons with conditions in this region.
Luecke, C. A., Arbic, B. K., Bassette, S. L., Richman, J. G., Shriver, J. F., Alford, M. H., et al. (2017). The Global Mesoscale Eddy Available Potential Energy Field in Models and Observations.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122(11), 9126–9143.
Luecke, C. A., Arbic, B. K., Bassette, S. L., Richman, J. G., Shriver, J. F., Alford, M. H., et al. (2017). The Global Mesoscale Eddy Available Potential Energy Field in Models and Observations: GLOBAL LOW-FREQUENCY EDDY APE.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122(11), 9126–9143.
Abstract: Global maps of the mesoscale eddy available potential energy (EAPE) field at a depth of 500 m are created using potential density anomalies in a high‐resolution 1/12.5° global ocean model. Maps made from both a free‐running simulation and a data‐assimilative reanalysis of the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) are compared with maps made by other researchers from density anomalies in Argo profiles. The HYCOM and Argo maps display similar features, especially in the dominance of western boundary currents. The reanalysis maps match the Argo maps more closely, demonstrating the added value of data assimilation. Global averages of the simulation, reanalysis, and Argo EAPE all agree to within about 10%. The model and Argo EAPE fields are compared to EAPE computed from temperature anomalies in a data set of “moored historical observations” (MHO) in conjunction with buoyancy frequencies computed from a global climatology. The MHO data set allows for an estimate of the EAPE in high‐frequency motions that is aliased into the Argo EAPE values. At MHO locations, 15–32% of the EAPE in the Argo estimates is due to aliased motions having periods of 10 days or less. Spatial averages of EAPE in HYCOM, Argo, and MHO data agree to within 50% at MHO locations, with both model estimates lying within error bars observations. Analysis of the EAPE field in an idealized model, in conjunction with published theory, suggests that much of the scatter seen in comparisons of different EAPE estimates is to be expected given the chaotic, unpredictable nature of mesoscale eddies.
Nof, D., Jia, Y., Chassignet, E., & Bozec, A. (2011). Fast Wind-Induced Migration of Leddies in the South China Sea.
J. Phys. Oceanogr., 41(9), 1683–1693.
Rousset, C., Houssais, M. - N., & Chassignet, E. P. (2009). A multi-model study of the restratification phase in an idealized convection basin.
Ocean Modelling, 26(3-4), 115–133.
Samuelsen, A. (2005).
Modeling the Effect of Eddies and Advection on the Lower Trophic Ecosystem in the Northeast Tropical Pacific. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: A medium complexity, nitrogen-based ecosystem model is developed in order to simulate the ecosystem in the northeast tropical Pacific. Several physical processes have major impact on the ecosystem in this region, most importantly intense wind jets along the coast and upwelling at the Costa Rica Dome (CRD). The ecosystem model is run “offline”, using a realistic physical ocean model hindcast as input. The physical model is a subdomain of the global Navy Coastal Ocean Model, which is a hybrid sigma-z level model. The model assimilates Modular Ocean Data Assimilation System temperature and salinity profiles derived from altimetry and sea surface temperature data. The model is forced by daily heat and momentum fluxes, and therefore captures short-term wind events such as the Tehuantepec jet. Because the model has high horizontal resolution (~1/8 degree) and assimilates sea surface height data, it has a realistic representation of eddies and mesoscale variability. The ecosystem model includes two nutrients (nitrate and ammonium), two size-classes of phytoplankton, two size-classes of zooplankton, and detritus. The model is run for 4 years from 1999 to 2002, with analyses focused on 2000-2002. The model is validated using SeaWiFS data and ship-based observations from the STAR-cruises (Stenella Abundance Research Project) of 1999 and 2000. The northernmost and most intense of the wind jets along Central America is the Tehuantepec jet. The Tehuantepec jet is responsible for upwelling large amounts of nutrient rich water south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec. The jet also occasionally produce large anti-cyclonic eddies that transport organic matter away from the coast. Because organic matter that is transported into the open ocean will eventually sink to the deep ocean, this has implications for the carbon export in this region. The model results are used to calculate cross-shelf fluxes in this region in order to estimate how much organic material is transported across the shelf break. Results show that at the Gulf of Tehuantepec there is high offshore export of organic material, particularly during eddy generation events, but also in fall. The highest export is on the order of 10 Mg C per meter of coastline per day and happens during eddy events. During these events there is a comparable onshore flux to the south of the gulf. Typically there is onshore flux to the south of the gulf during the summer. The model estimated transport away from the coast at the Gulf of Tehuantepec is 167 Tg C/year, and the onshore transport to the south of the gulf is 704 Tg C/year. The second subject of interest is the CRD. In this region, upwelling at the surface is caused by Ekman upwelling during the summer, although the dome is thought to be present at depth throughout the year. The doming of the isotherms below the thermocline is a result of vortex stretching and is decoupled from the wind-driven processes at the surface. A mass-balance budget is calculated at the CRD, and the horizontal and vertical fluxes are related to the abundance of plankton at the dome. There is upwelling (7.2X10-2 Sv ) at the dome throughout the year, but around the location of the dome (90° W), the upwelling is largest in the winter. Further west, input of nutrients from below is larger in the fall and summer. The results suggest that about 80% of the nitrate that is supplied to the dome during summer is actually brought up to the west of the dome and transported eastward by the North Equatorial Counter Current.