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Free Content Relative dispersion in the subsurface North Atlantic

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Pair statistics are calculated for subsurface floats in the North Atlantic. The relative diffusivity (the derivative of the mean square particle separation) is approximately constant at large scales in both eastern and western basins, though the implied scale of the energy-containing eddies is greater in the west. But the behavior at times soon after pair deployment is quite different in the two basins; in the west the diffusivity grows approximately as distance to the 4/3 power, consistent with an inverse turbulent cascade of energy (or possibly of mixing superimposed on a mean shear), but in the east the diffusivity grows more slowly, as for instance in simple stochastic systems. Exponential stretching, expected in an enstrophy cascade, is not resolved in any region; however, this may reflect only that the present pair separations are too large initially.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2000

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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