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Donohue, K. A., University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography, Narragansett, USA, kdonohue@gso.uri.edu
Leben, R. ., University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, leben@colorado.edu
Hamilton, P. ., SAIC, , USA, peter.hamilton@saic.com
Watts, D. R., University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography, Narragansett, USA, rwatts@gso.uri.edu

UPPER-LOWER LAYER COUPLING IN LOOP CURRENT EDDIES EKMAN AND FRANKLIN

Arrays of moored current meters and bottom mounted pressure equipped inverted echo sounders (PIES) centered near 26°N, 87°W were deployed in April 2009. Data were recovered via mooring rotation or telemetry in July and November 2010. Two Loop Current Eddies form during the 15-month observational period: Eddy Ekman in summer 2009 and Eddy Franklin in summer 2010. Lower-layer flows are not visually coherent with upper-layer Loop Current flows, and the principal axes of the standard deviation ellipses and the mean vectors are not, in general, aligned with those of the surface layer. In both detachment events, a marked increase in lower-layer eddy kinetic energy occurs coincident with the development of a large-scale meander along the northern and eastern parts of the Loop Current front. Lower-layer eddies develop in a pattern reminiscent of developing baroclinic instabilities. These growing and southward propagating meanders along the west Florida slope appear to be the major mechanism that causes these eddies to initially detach.

Poster presentation

Session #:113
Date: 2/22/2012
Time: 17:00 - 18:00
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall

Presentation is given by student: No

PosterID: B1331