Mixing in cyclonic eddies in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current
Observations over a period of 39 days of the increasing minimum core temperature of Winter Water trapped within a mature cyclonic eddy in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current encouraged us to assess the mixing processes which might lead to this temperature rise. Using diffusive heat budgets for alternatively diapycnic (∼vertical) and then isopycnic (∼horizontal) mixing combined with the observed rate of warming allowed upper limits for diapycnic and isopycnic diffusivities to be inferred. This gave values of (3.3 ± 0.8) × 10−4m2s−1 and 87 ± 20m2s−1 for the diapycnic and isopycnic diffusivities respectively. These were then in turn applied to the isopycnic temperature distributions of a juvenile eddy observed earlier in the cruise and integrated forward in time. While both forms of diffusion undoubtedly play a role in modifying the temperature, it was the horizontal diffusivity which was better able to reproduce the tighter S relationship and the horizontal spread of the temperature minimum observed in the mature eddy
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2009
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