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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(6), 5164-5183; doi:10.3390/rs6065164

Statistical Characteristics of Mesoscale Eddies in the North Pacific Derived from Satellite Altimetry

1
Department of Marine Environmental Informatics, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan
2
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 March 2014 / Revised: 25 May 2014 / Accepted: 27 May 2014 / Published: 5 June 2014
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Abstract

The sea level anomaly data derived from satellite altimetry are analyzed to investigate statistical characteristics of mesoscale eddies in the North Pacific. Eddies are detected by a free-threshold eddy identification algorithm. The results show that the distributions of size, amplitude, propagation speed, and eddy kinetic energy of eddy follow the Rayleigh distribution. The most active regions of eddies are the Kuroshio Extension region, the Subtropical Counter Current zone, and the Northeastern Tropical Pacific region. By contrast, eddies are seldom observed around the center of the eastern part of the North Pacific Subarctic Gyre. The propagation speed and kinetic energy of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies are almost the same, but anticyclonic eddies possess greater lifespans, sizes, and amplitudes than those of cyclonic eddies. Most eddies in the North Pacific propagate westward except in the Oyashio region. Around the northeastern tropical Pacific and the California currents, cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies propagate westward with slightly equatorward (197° average azimuth relative to east) and poleward (165°) deflection, respectively. This implies that the background current may play an important role in formation of the eddy pathway patterns. View Full-Text
Keywords: mesoscale eddy; North Pacific; sea level anomaly; eddy detection algorithm mesoscale eddy; North Pacific; sea level anomaly; eddy detection algorithm
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cheng, Y.-H.; Ho, C.-R.; Zheng, Q.; Kuo, N.-J. Statistical Characteristics of Mesoscale Eddies in the North Pacific Derived from Satellite Altimetry. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 5164-5183.

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