A numerical study of eddy interactions with a barotropic oceanic jet
Davis, George P., Jr.
Smith, David C., IV
Semtner, Albert J., Jr.
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Mesoscale vortices generated by western boundary currents are well observed and documented, particularly in the case of the Gulf Stream System. The movement of these rings in the region of the Gulf Stream is well studied and has been ascribed to the following physical mechanisms: (1) the beta effect on an isolated ring, (2) advection of a ring in a recirculation regime, (3) downstream advection of a ring in contact with a jet, and (4) vorticity advection associated with the jet and eddy interaction. Utilizing a two layer, nonlinear primitive equation model, an examination of eddy movement is conducted, with focus on eddy/jet interaction. A series of numerical experiments is performed in which the initial separation distance between eddy and jet is varied. The model demonstrates that vortex movement is strongly related to the proximity of the vortex to the jet. It also is demonstrated that observed movement is not solely dependent on the beta effect nor on advection due to recirculation. Keywords: Gulf stream, Gulf stream vortices, Numerical simulators. (JHD)
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