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Geostrophic and ageostrophic circulation of a shallow anticyclonic eddy off Cape Bojador

AuthorsRuiz, Simón ; Pelegrí, Josep Lluís ; Emelianov, Mikhail ; Pascual, Ananda ; Mason, Evan
Issue DateFeb-2014
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 119(2): 1257-1270 (2014)
AbstractA shallow mesoscale anticyclonic eddy, observed south of the Canary Islands with satellite altimetry, has been intensively studied with multiparametric sampling. Hydrographic data from a CTD installed on an undulating Nu-shuttle platform reveal the presence of a mesoscale anticyclonic eddy of ∼125 km diameter. The difference in sea level anomaly (SLA) between the interior and the edge of the eddy, as determined from altimetry, is ∼15 cm, which compares well with the maximum dynamic height differences as inferred using a very shallow reference level (130 m). Further, the associated surface geostrophic velocities, of about 35 cm s-1 in the northeast and southwest edges of the eddy, are in good agreement with direct velocity measurements from the ship. Deep rosette-CTD casts confirm that the structure is a shallow eddy extending no deeper than 250 m before the fusion with another anticyclone. The SLA-tendency (temporal rate of change of sea surface height) indicates a clear northwestward migration during the two first weeks of November 2008. Applying an eddy SSH-based tracker, the eddy's velocity propagation is estimated as 4 km d-1. Use of the QG-Omega equation diagnoses maximum downward/upward velocities of about ±2 m d-1. The instability of the Canary coastal jet appears to be the mechanism responsible for the generation of the shallow anticyclonic eddy. Key Points Vertical velocities in the upper ocean from quasi-geostrophic theory Description of mesoscale eddy in the Upwelling Canary Region Multiplatform experiment combining in situ and remote sensing observations © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved
Description14 pages, 8 figures
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2013JC009169
Identifiersdoi: 10.1002/2013JC009169
e-issn: 2169-9291
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