Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-789
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-789
 
25 Aug 2022
25 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Characteristics of Robust Mesoscale Eddies in the Gulf of Mexico

Yingli Zhu and Xinfeng Liang Yingli Zhu and Xinfeng Liang
  • School of Marine Science and Policy, University of Delaware, Lewes, 19958, US

Abstract. Although numerous studies on mesoscale eddies in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) have been conducted, a comprehensive study on their temporal and spatial characteristics is still lacking. In this study, we combine three eddy detection algorithms to detect eddies from the 26-year sea surface height record in the GoM and examine their characteristics. We find distinct characteristics between Loop Current Eddies (LCEs), Loop Current Frontal Eddies (LCFEs), and mesoscale eddies that are not directly related to the Loop Current (LC). Seasonal variability appears in both the LCFEs and non-LCFE cyclonic eddies and shows large uncertainties. More specifically, more LCFEs are formed in January to July than in August to December, likely related to the seasonal variation of the northward penetration of the LC. And the formation of non-LCFE cyclonic eddies shows a biannual variability, which could be linked to the position and strength of the background current in the western GoM. Low-frequency (interannual to multidecadal) variability is also detected. In the eastern GoM, the extent of northward penetration of the LC can affect the generation of LCFEs and result in low-frequency variations. In the western GoM, the low-frequency variability of eddy occurrence and amplitude could be related to the surface circulation strength. This study can serve as an up-to-date reference for eddy-related investigations in the GoM.

Yingli Zhu and Xinfeng Liang

Status: open (until 20 Oct 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-789', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Sep 2022 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Yingli Zhu, 26 Sep 2022 reply
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-789', Francisco Beron-Vera, 18 Sep 2022 reply
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC1', Yingli Zhu, 26 Sep 2022 reply
      • CC2: 'Reply on AC2', Francisco Beron-Vera, 26 Sep 2022 reply
        • CC3: 'Reply on CC2', Francisco Beron-Vera, 26 Sep 2022 reply
          • CC4: 'Reply on CC3', Xinfeng Liang, 26 Sep 2022 reply
            • CC5: 'Reply on CC4', Francisco Beron-Vera, 27 Sep 2022 reply
              • CC6: 'Reply on CC5', Xinfeng Liang, 27 Sep 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-789', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Sep 2022 reply
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Yingli Zhu, 26 Sep 2022 reply

Yingli Zhu and Xinfeng Liang

Yingli Zhu and Xinfeng Liang

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Short summary
Characteristics of mesoscale eddies in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), including how they vary with space and time, are examined using sea surface height data. Eddy characteristics in the eastern GoM are closely related to the Loop Current (LC). The LC frontal eddy formation is associated with the extent of northward movement of the LC. Eddies that are not directly related to the LC show a biannual variability associated with large-scale background currents in the western GoM.