Sub-Mesoscale Frontal Instabilities in the Omani Coastal Current

Type Article
Date 2020-04
Language English
Author(s) Morvan Mathieu1, Carton Xavier1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, UMR 6523 Univ. Brest-CNRS-IFREMER-IRD, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, rue Dumont d’Urville, 29280 Plouzané, France
Source Mathematics (2227-7390) (MDPI AG), 2020-04 , Vol. 8 , N. 4 , P. 562 (15p.)
DOI 10.3390/math8040562
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue Vortex Dynamics: Theory and Application to Geophysical Flows
Keyword(s) sub-mesoscale, fronts, instabilities
Abstract

The Omani Coastal Current (OCC) flowing northward along the southern coast of Oman during the summer monsoon is associated with an upwelling system. The mesoscale circulation of the western Arabian Sea is dominated by energetic mesoscale eddies down to about 1000 m depth. They drive the pathways of the upwelling water masses and the Persian Gulf Outflow water. This paper focuses on the sub-mesoscale frontal dynamics in the OCC by analyzing the results from a regional realistic numerical simulation performed with a primitive equation model. Off the Omani coast, the interaction between the upwelling fronts and the mesoscale eddies triggers the frontogenesis at play in the surface mixed layer during the summer monsoon. In spring, sub-mesoscale eddies are generated at the Cape of Ra’s al Hadd due to the horizontal shear instabilities undergone by the OCC. The OCC also drives and elongates Peddies formed during the Summer monsoon and located below the thermocline. Finally, the interaction between mesoscale eddies and the upwelling system leads to the formation of sub-mesoscale eddies at depth through baroclinic instabilities.

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