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Characterizing and following eddies in Drake Passage

Gómez-Enri, Jesus; Navarro, Gabriel; Quartly, Graham D; Villares, Pilar. 2007 Characterizing and following eddies in Drake Passage. In: IGARSS 2007: Sensing and Understanding our Planet, Barcelona, Spain, 23-27 July 2007. Piscataway NJ, USA, IEEE, [4pp], 4pp.

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Abstract/Summary

Drake Passage, the gap between South America and Antarctica, is a very energetic region, with strong currents and numerous eddies. These eddies are important for mixing waters across the main three fronts, and for affecting the biological productivity in the region. We use weekly maps of colour images, sea level anomaly and geostrophic velocities to characterize physical and biological activity in the region surrounding Drake Passage. In particular, we note that the largest eddy kinetic energy occurs to the east of the passage and is principally in the area bounded by the mean Subantarctic Front (SAF) and the mean Polar Front, whilst the biological productivity is highest in coastal regions, with the SAF acting as a clear southern boundary. In a number of cases, cyclonic eddies detected by altimetry also show a strong signature in ocean color. Regular XBT (eXpendable BathyThermograph) surveys provide information on sub-surface structure, confirming the altimetric identification of features and showing that they often contain water masses originating from the other side of the front.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Additional Keywords: eddies; altimetry; sea level anomaly chlorophyll concentration, XBT, Drake Passage
Date made live: 04 Jul 2007 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/146522

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