Interaction Between Mesoscale Eddies and the Gyre Circulation in the Lofoten Basin

Type Article
Date 2020-07
Language English
Author(s) Raj R. P.1, 2, Halo I.3, 4, 5, Chatterjee S.6, Belonenko T.7, Bakhoday‐paskyabi M.2, 8, Bashmachnikov I.7, 9, Fedorov A.7, 9, Xie J.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center Bergen ,Norway
2 : Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research Bergen ,Norway
3 : Conservation and Marine SciencesCape Peninsula University of Technology Cape Town ,South Africa
4 : Centre for Sustainable OceansCape Peninsula University of Technology Cape Town ,South Africa
5 : Nansen‐Tutu Center for Marine Environmental Research University of Cape Town Cape Town ,South Africa
6 : National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research Ministry of Earth Sciences Vasco da Gama, India
7 : Department of OceanographySaint Petersburg State University Saint Petersburg ,Russia
8 : Geophysical Institute and Bergen Offshore Wind Centre University of Bergen Bergen ,Norway
9 : Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre Saint‐Petersburg ,Russia
Source Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans (Journal of Geophysic) (American Geophysical Union (AGU)), 2020-07 , Vol. 125 , N. 7 , P. e2020JC016102 (13p.)
DOI 10.1029/2020JC016102
Keyword(s) mesoscale eddies, Lofoten vortex, Lofoten basin, gyre circulation, altimetry, Argo floats
Abstract

The interaction between the mesoscale eddies and the cyclonic gyre circulation of the Lofoten Basin is studied using a suite of satellite altimeters, a regional coupled ocean‐sea‐ice data assimilation system (the TOPAZ reanalysis) and Argo float data. An automated method identified 5,373/5,589 individual anticyclonic/cyclonic eddies in the Lofoten Basin from more than 65,000 altimeter‐based eddy observations, of which 70–85% are found to be nonlinear. The nonlinearity of eddies is estimated from its translational and rotational velocities. The study found clustering of highly intense nonlinear eddies on either side of the Lofoten Basin. Further, we show the distinct cyclonic drift of the anticyclonic and cyclonic eddies, both confined to the western side of the basin, and its similarity to the middepth gyre circulation also confined to the same region. A well‐defined cyclonic drift pattern of eddies is found during the time period when the gyre circulation of the basin is strengthened, while a clear cyclonic drift of eddies is absent during a weakened gyre. Analysis of barotropic energy conversion in the reanalysis data shows maximum transfer of energy from the eddy field to the mean flow in the Lofoten Vortex region. Even though comparatively smaller (roughly 9 times) there is also notable transfer of energy from the mean flow to the eddies in the region located outside the Lofoten Vortex. Our study shows that the gyre circulation when strengthened, receives more energy from the Lofoten Vortex and loses less energy to those eddies circulating around the Lofoten Vortex.

Plain Language Summary

Lofoten Basin situated in the path of Atlantic Water flow from the North Atlantic to the Arctic is the largest heat reservoir in the Nordic Seas. The mesoscale eddies and the gyre circulation of the basin can impact the heat transported into the basin interior and the heat lost to the atmosphere. In this paper, we use a suite of satellite altimeters, Argo floats, and an ocean reanalysis data set to study the interaction between the mesoscale eddies and the gyre circulation of the Lofoten Basin. Our study shows that the energy transfer associated with the mesoscale eddies influence the gyre circulation of the basin.

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How to cite 

Raj R. P., Halo I., Chatterjee S., Belonenko T., Bakhoday‐paskyabi M., Bashmachnikov I., Fedorov A., Xie J. (2020). Interaction Between Mesoscale Eddies and the Gyre Circulation in the Lofoten Basin. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125(7), e2020JC016102 (13p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JC016102 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00635/74707/