Identifying Lagrangian Coherent Vortices in a Mesoscale Ocean Model.

Tarshish, Nathaniel, Abernathey, Ryan, Zhang, Ci, Dufour, Carolina O., Frenger, Ivy and Griffies, Stephen M. (2018) Identifying Lagrangian Coherent Vortices in a Mesoscale Ocean Model. Ocean Modelling, 130 . pp. 15-28. DOI 10.1016/j.ocemod.2018.07.001.

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Abstract

Highlights:
• Lagrangian vortices are identified in a mesoscale eddy-permitting ocean model.
• Rigorous sensitivity analysis of the methods tuning parameters is conducted.
• The Coherency Index, a new Lagrangian diagnostic, is introduced to quantify the material coherency of a vortex.
• The spectrum of vortex coherency is explored by identifying leaky, moderately coherent, and strictly coherent vortices.

We identify Lagrangian coherent vortices in a global mesoscale eddy-permitting ocean model using the rotation-based method of Haller et al. (2016). We present an analysis of the acute sensitivity of the identification results to varying the method’s free parameters, and develop physically justified parameter choices that allow for systematic vortex identification. In contrast to prior vortex studies, we probe the broad spectrum of coherency in the ocean by determining free parameter choices that partition the spectrum into distinct allowing for the identification of strictly coherent, moderately coherent, and leaky vortices. Our tuning methodology is grounded in a combination of sensitivity analysis, convergence tests, and consideration of the ocean model’s physics. To aid in this process, we introduce the a novel Lagrangian diagnostic for mathematically quantifying the degree of material coherency of a Lagrangian vortex. We aim for this manuscript and the accompanying open-access code to serve as a manual and toolset for the oceanographer interested in harnessing a rigorous Lagrangian method to uncover coherent structures in ocean models and observations.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Coherent Structures; Mesoscale Eddies; Vortex Identification; Lagrangian Analysis; RCLV
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.ocemod.2018.07.001
ISSN: 1463-5003
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2018 09:54
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:09
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/43938

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