Genesis, evolution, and apocalypse of Loop Current rings

Fernando Andrade- Canto (Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (UABC), Mexico)


Daniel Karrash (Technische Universit\"at M\"unchen, Zentrum Mathematik., Germany); Francisco J. Beron-Vera (Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science., USA)

Event: 2020 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting (virtual)

Session: Science III: Mesoscale and sub-mesoscale oceanography

Presentation type: Type Forum

We carry out assessments of the life cycle of Loop Current vortices, so-called rings, in the Gulf of Mexico by applying three objectives (i.e., observer-independent) coherent Lagrangian vortex detection methods on velocities derived from satellite altimetry measurements of sea-surface height (SSH). The methods reveal material vortices with boundaries that withstand stretching or diffusion, or whose fluid elements rotate evenly. This involved a technology advance that enables framing vortex genesis and apocalypse robustly and with precision. We find that the stretching- and diffusion-withstanding assessments produce consistent results, which show large discrepancies with Eulerian assessments that identify vortices with regions instantaneously filled with streamlines of the SSH field. The even-rotation assessment, which is vorticity-based, is found to be quite unstable, suggesting life expectancies much shorter than those produced by all other assessments.
Fernando Andrade- Canto
Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (UABC)