Southern Ocean eddy phenomenology

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Author(s) Frenger, Ivy, Münnich, Matthias, Gruber, Nicolas, Knutti, Reto
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title Southern Ocean eddy phenomenology
Author(s) Frenger, Ivy
Münnich, Matthias
Gruber, Nicolas
Knutti, Reto
Journal or Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume Number 120
Issue Number 11
Start Page 7413
End Page 7449
ISSN 2169-9275
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publication Place Washington, DC
Publication Date 2015-11
Abstract Mesoscale eddies are ubiquitous features in the Southern Ocean, yet their phenomenology is not well quantified. To tackle this task, we use satellite observations of sea level anomalies and sea surface temperature (SST) as well as in situ temperature and salinity measurements from profiling floats. Over the period 1997-2010, we identified over a million mesoscale eddy instances and were able to track about 105 of them over 1 month or more. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the boundary current systems, and the regions where they interact are hot spots of eddy presence, representing also the birth places and graveyards of most eddies. These hot spots contrast strongly to areas shallower than about 2000 m, where mesoscale eddies are essentially absent, likely due to topographical steering. Anticyclones tend to dominate the southern subtropical gyres, and cyclones the northern flank of the ACC. Major causes of regional polarity dominance are larger formation numbers and lifespans, with a contribution of differential propagation pathways of long-lived eddies. Areas of dominance of one polarity are generally congruent with the same polarity being longer-lived, bigger, of larger amplitude, and more intense. Eddies extend down to at least 2000 m. In the ACC, eddies show near surface temperature and salinity maxima, whereas eddies in the subtropical areas generally have deeper anomaly maxima, presumably inherited from their origin in the boundary currents. The temperature and salinity signatures of the average eddy suggest that their tracer anomalies are a result of both trapping in the eddy core and stirring.
DOI 10.1002/2015JC011047
Additional Notes Published online 18 November 2015
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03731
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NEBIS System Number 004289352
Source Database ID SCOPUS-84947460805
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  author = "Frenger, Ivy and M{\"{u}}nnich, Matthias and Gruber, Nicolas and Knutti, Reto",
  title = "{S}outhern {O}cean eddy phenomenology",
  journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans",
  year = 2015,
  volume = "120",
  number = "11",
  pages = "7413--7449",
  month = nov,

E-Citations record created: Tue, 01 Dec 2015, 08:44:17 CET