The Loop Current and adjacent rings delineated by Lagrangian analysis of the near-surface flow
Evolution of the Loop Current and the adjacent mesoscale rings was investigated over a 20-day period, starting June 1, 1998. Model sea-surface height and near-surface velocity fields from the Colorado University Princeton Ocean Model of the Gulf of Mexico were used along with drifter data in the study. A Lagrangian analysis provided detailed information about ring interaction and revealed features that were not apparent in the Eulerian picture. During the observation period, a new ring was formed in the meander of the Loop Current and a large anticyclonic ring to the west was cleaved by a cyclonic eddy. The coherent structures were identified in the Lagrangian framework by means of material curves (manifolds) that act as their boundaries. Concurrent drifter trajectories were in qualitative agreement with the results of the Lagrangian analysis.
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Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: 2002-05-01
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