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Mesoscale eddy characteristics in the interior subtropical southeast Indian Ocean, tracked from the Leeuwin Current system

Mao, H, Feng, M, Phillips, HE ORCID: 0000-0002-2941-7577 and Lian, S 2018 , 'Mesoscale eddy characteristics in the interior subtropical southeast Indian Ocean, tracked from the Leeuwin Current system' , Deep-Sea Research. Part 2 , pp. 1-11 , doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2018.07.003.

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Abstract

Two oppositely rotating mesoscale eddies, originating from the Leeuwin Current, were captured during a researchcruise in the interior southeast Indian Ocean in August 2012, a few hundred kilometers off the west coastof Australia. The two eddies had different vertical structures: the anticyclonic eddy had stronger vertical shearabove 200m and a less stratified thermocline below the mixed layer, while the cyclonic eddy had a morebarotropic structure in the upper 500 m. Compared with the same types of eddies sampled in 2003 close to theAustralian coast, the 2012 anticyclonic eddy had a larger radius, deeper isothermal depths, and higher peakvelocity; whereas the 2012 cyclonic eddy had a similar structure with the 2003 survey. We use an Argo float andthree surface drifters deployed and trapped in the anticyclonic eddy to track its evolution over a 4-month period.The eddy was observed to propagate 1000 km further to the west, indicating that the Leeuwin Current propertiesof the eddy may be preserved for over 2000 km off the west coast of Australia. The eddy appeared to haveexperienced radial excursions relative to the eddy center, with periodicity of 4–6 days and 15 days, during theiranticlockwise motions. The radial movements of the drifters appeared to be constrained by the radial momentumbalance within the eddy. The importance of eddy distortions to ocean primary production in anticyclonic eddiesin the southeast Indian Ocean warrants further studies.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Mao, H and Feng, M and Phillips, HE and Lian, S
Keywords: South Indian Ocean, Leeuwin current, mesoscale eddies, eddy tracking
Journal or Publication Title: Deep-Sea Research. Part 2
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN: 0967-0645
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2018.07.003
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

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