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Tracey, K. L., University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, USA, ktracey@gso.uri.edu
Watts, D. R., University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, USA, rwatts@gso.uri.edu
Donohue, K. A., University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, USA, kdonohue@gso.uri.edu

DEEP EDDIES MODULATE FRONTAL MEANDER GROWTH IN THE KUROSHIO EXTENSION

During the Kuroshio Extension System Study (KESS) a two-dimensional array of current-and-pressure-recording inverted echo sounders provided synoptic measurements of upper and deep fluctuations in the Kuroshio Extension between 143oE and 149oE with mesoscale resolution. Downstream-propagating frontal meanders, also called frontal waves, with periods of 3-60 d were always present between June 2004 and September 2005. Most meanders did not grow systematically downstream. Instead, meanders alternately grew and decayed as they propagated over distances of 100-200 km. Interaction with deep eddies, having a nearly depth-independent current structure, caused this growth or decay. These remotely-generated eddies propagated into the region from the northeast and east, thus tending to cross or oppose the meanders in the upper jet. Upper meanders and deep eddies jointly intensified when they encountered each other with the deep eddy offset about a quarter wavelength ahead of the upper meander, which is the orientation favorable to baroclinic instability. Subsequently as the upper and deep features moved past each other and the vertical offset changed, intensification ceased.

Poster presentation

Session #:020
Date: 2/23/2012
Time: 17:00 - 18:00
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall

Presentation is given by student: No

PosterID: B1413