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Merging and migration of two Meddies
Schultz Tokos, K.L.; Hinrichsen, H.-H.; Zenk, W. (1994). Merging and migration of two Meddies. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 24(10): 2129-2141
In: Journal of Physical Oceanography. American Meteorological Society: Boston, etc.,. ISSN 0022-3670, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Coalescence; Collisions; Eddies; Floats; Hydrography; Mediterranean Sea; Ocean circulation; Oceanographic surveys; Trajectories; Vortex motion; MED, Mediterranean [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Schultz Tokos, K.L.
  • Hinrichsen, H.-H.
  • Zenk, W.

Abstract
    In this study a scenario is developed of two adjacent Mediterranean Water eddies (meddies) as they were observed merging and drifting through the Iberian Basin. Observations are based on four RAFOS floats (at 850-1050 dbar), two hydrographic surveys (centered roughly at 38°N, 24°W), and trajectories of surface drifters (drogued at 100 m). In April 1991, the meddy A was identified and labeled by surface drifters. During the revisit one month later two meddies were encountered, B1 and B2, in the vicinity of the former meddy A. The coalescence of BI (subsequently identified as A, one month older) and B2 is inferred from a simple kinematic model describing the observed movement of the RAFOS floats for up to three months after the second CTD survey. The deduced vorticity front, radius ~15 km, within B1 was of insufficient strength to keep the core waters of B1 isolated and prevent the absorption of B1 by B2. The resulting meddy (B1 + B2) showed a clear near-surface dynamical signal. Its deep root (1800 m) could explain the expulsion from the meddy of the remaining RAFOS float and surface drifter at the time of the meddy's collision with the Josephine Seamount. For the first time, a set of Lagrangian and hydrographic observations give direct evidence that neighboring meddies can merge as predicted by theoretical considerations.

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