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Fluids 2016, 1(3), 28; doi:10.3390/fluids1030028

Eddy Backscatter and Counter-Rotating Gyre Anomalies of Midlatitude Ocean Dynamics

Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London; Huxley Building, 180 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 2AZ, UK
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Academic Editor: A. D. Kirwan
Received: 14 May 2016 / Revised: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 25 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Geophysical Fluid Dynamics)
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Abstract

This work concerns how two competing mechanisms—eddy backscatter and counter-rotating gyre anomalies—influence the midlatitude ocean dynamics, as described by the eddy-resolving quasi-geostrophic (QG) model of wind-driven gyres. We analyzed dynamical balances and effects of different eddy forcing components, as well as their dependencies on increasing vertical resolution and decreasing eddy viscosity and found that the eastward jet and its adjacent recirculation zones are maintained mostly by the eddy forcing via the eddy backscatter mechanism, whereas the time-mean eddy-forcing component plays not only direct jet-supporting but also indirect jet-inhibiting role. The latter is achieved by inducing zonally elongated anticyclonic/cyclonic Counter-rotating Gyre Anomaly (CGA) in the subpolar/subtropical gyre. The indirect effect of CGAs on the eastward jet is found to be moderate relative to the dominant eddy backscatter mechanism. We also found that the higher the vertical baroclinic mode, the weaker its backscatter role and the stronger its CGA-driving role. Although the barotropic and first baroclinic modes are the most efficient ones in maintaining the backscatter, the higher, up to the fifth baroclinic modes also have significant but reverse impact that reduces the backscatter. View Full-Text
Keywords: eddy backscatter; counter-rotating gyre anomalies; multi-layer quasi-geostrophic model; nonlinear eddy dynamics; large-scale ocean circulation eddy backscatter; counter-rotating gyre anomalies; multi-layer quasi-geostrophic model; nonlinear eddy dynamics; large-scale ocean circulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Shevchenko, I.; Berloff, P. Eddy Backscatter and Counter-Rotating Gyre Anomalies of Midlatitude Ocean Dynamics. Fluids 2016, 1, 28.

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