Eddy diffusivities estimated from observations in the Labrador Sea.

Funk, Andreas, Brandt, Peter and Fischer, Tim (2009) Eddy diffusivities estimated from observations in the Labrador Sea. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 114 . C04001. DOI 10.1029/2008JC005098.

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Abstract

Eddy diffusivities in the Labrador Sea (LS) are estimated from deep eddy resolving float trajectories, moored current meter records, and satellite altimetry. A mean residence time of 248 days in the central LS is observed with several floats staying for more than 2 years. By applying a simple random walk diffusion model, the observed distribution of float residence times in the central LS could be explained by a mean eddy diffusivity of about 300 m2 s−1. Estimates from float trajectories themselves and from moored current meter records yield significantly higher eddy diffusivities in the central LS of 950–1100 m2 s−1. This discrepancy can be explained by an inhomogeneity of the eddy diffusivity at middepth with high/low values in the central LS/region between central LS and deep Labrador Current, which could be conjectured from the mean altimetric eddy kinetic energy (EKE) distribution. The different diffusivities explain both (1) a fast lateral homogenization of water masses in the central LS and (2) a weak exchange between central LS and boundary current. The mean Lagrangian length scale of 11.5 ± 0.7 km as estimated from deep float trajectories is only slightly larger than the mean Rossby radius of deformation (8.8 km). Largest eddy diffusivities within the central LS are associated with strong eddy drifts, rather than with large swirl velocities and associated large EKE.
between central LS and deep Labrador Current, which could be conjectured from the mean altimetric eddy kinetic energy (EKE) distribution. The different diffusivities explain both (1) a fast lateral homogenization of water masses in the central LS and (2) a weak exchange between central LS and boundary current. The mean Lagrangian length scale of 11.5 ± 0.7 km as estimated from deep float trajectories is only slightly larger than the mean Rossby radius of deformation (8.8 km). Largest eddy diffusivities within the central LS are associated with strong eddy drifts, rather than with large swirl velocities and associated large EKE.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2008JC005098
ISSN: 2169-9275
Projects: Future Ocean, SFB460, ARGO Program
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2009 11:19
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2018 08:42
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/7433

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