Cycloidal meandering of a mesoscale anticyclonic eddy

Ziv Kizner, Biana Shteinbuch-Fridman, Viacheslav Makarov, Michael Rabinovich

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

By applying a theoretical approach, we propose a hypothetical scenario that might explain some features of the movement of a long-lived mesoscale anticyclone observed during 1990 in the Bay of Biscay [R. D. Pingree and B. Le Cann, "Three anticyclonic slope water oceanic eddies (SWODDIES) in the southern Bay of Biscay in 1990," Deep-Sea Res., PartA 39, 1147 (1992)]. In the remote-sensing infrared images, at the initial stage of observations, the anticyclone was accompanied by two cyclonic eddies, so the entire structure appeared as a tripole. However, at later stages, only the anticyclone was seen in the images, traveling generally west. Unusual for an individual eddy were the high speed of its motion (relative to the expected planetary beta-drift) and the presence of almost cycloidal meanders in its trajectory. Although surface satellites seem to have quickly disappeared, we hypothesize that subsurface satellites continued to exist, and the coherence of the three vortices persisted for a long time. A significant perturbation of the central symmetry in the mutual arrangement of three eddies constituting a tripole can make reasonably fast cycloidal drift possible. This hypothesis is tested with two-layer contour-dynamics f -plane simulations and with finite-difference beta-plane simulations. In the latter case, the interplay of the planetary beta-effect and that due to the sloping bottom is considered.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalPhysics of Fluids
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

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