Abyssal eddy kinetic energy in the North Atlantic
Abstract:Both eddy and mean fields have similar zonal and meridional scales of geographical variation in the mid-latitude North Atlantic. The first map of the North Atlantic that contained estimates of the intensity of the abyssal eddy field is now several years old, and in the interim the relevant data base has increased roughly six-fold. Contemporary charts are presented, containing these more recent observations, along with some new styles of data presentation. The basic picture of maximum abyssal eddy kinetic energy near the fully developed Gulf Stream is consistently substantiated, along with a two order or magnitude latitudinal decay (from about 102 to roughly 1 cm2 s–2) into the interior of the subtropical gyre west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Results obtained in the last few years lead to the first relatively clear-cut identification of the zonal scales of variation of eddy intensity near the Gulf Stream. Eddy kinetic energy levels at abyssal depths near Cape Hatteras, in the vicinity of the Grand Banks, and east of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge are down by 1–2 orders of magnitude from maxima near the Gulf Stream at intermediate longitudes in the western North Atlantic. Preliminary contour maps of observed abyssal eddy kinetic energy are presented, albeit in schematic form.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1984-08-01
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