24 Nov 2022
24 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Sensitivity of Gyrescale Marine Connectivity Estimates to Fine-scale Circulation

Saeed Hariri1,2, Sabrina Speich1, Bruno Blanke3, and Marina Lévy4 Saeed Hariri et al.
  • 1LMD-IPSL, École normale supérieure, PSL, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 , Paris, Cedex 05, France
  • 2Physical Oceanography and Instrumentation, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW), Seestraße 15, D-18119, Rostock, Germany
  • 3Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, UMR 6523, CNRS-IFREMER-IRD-UBO, Brest, France
  • 4Sorbonne Université, LOCEAN-IPSL, CNRS/IRD/MNHN, Paris Cedex 05, France

Abstract. We investigate the connectivity properties between different ocean stations in an idealized open ocean model of a western boundary current system separating two ocean gyres. We applied a Lagrangian framework to compute trajectories from various dynamical setups: a high-resolution (1/9°) 3D velocity field reproducing a large range of the ocean fine-scale (i.e. mesoscale plus part of the submesoscale) dynamics, or a filtered velocity field on a coarse-resolution (1°) grid, and one limited to the surface 2D velocities. As ocean connectivity has been assessed in the published literature using different definitions, in this work we compare different metrics such as the average values of transit time and arrival depth between specified sample stations as well as the probability density functions (PDFs) of transit times and betweenness for the different dynamical setups. Our results indicate that almost none of the PDFs show Gaussian behaviour. When the fine-scale dynamics are taken into account, the numerical particles move and connect pairs of stations faster (between 100 days to 300 days) than when it is absent. This is particularly true, along and near the jets separating the two gyres. Moreover, the connectivity is facilitated when 3D instead of 2D velocities are considered. Finally, our results suggest that western boundary currents are characterized by high betweenness centrality values, which confirms its key role in controlling the transfer of particles in the double-gyre configuration.

Saeed Hariri et al.

Status: open (until 19 Jan 2023)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1276', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Dec 2022 reply

Saeed Hariri et al.


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Short summary
This work presents a series of studies conducted by the authors on the application of the Lagrangian approach for the connectivity analysis between different ocean locations in an idealized open-ocean model. We assess how the connectivity properties of typical oceanic flows are affected by the fine-scale circulation, and discuss the challenges facing ocean connectivity estimates related to the spatial resolution. Our results are important to improve the understanding of marine ecosystems.