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doi:10.5194/os-2016-88
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
05 Dec 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).
A modelling study of eddy-splitting by an Island/Seamount
Shengmu Yang1,2, Jiuxing Xing1, Daoyi Chen1,2, and Shengli Chen1 1Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Coastal Ocean Dynamic and Environment, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China
2School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Abstract. A mesoscale eddy's trajectory and its interaction with topography under the planetary β and nonlinear effects in the South China Sea are examined using the MITgcm. Warm eddies propagate to the southwest while cold eddies propagate to the northwest. The speed of both warm and cold eddies is about 2.4 km/day in the model. The eddy trajectory and its structure are affected by an island or a seamount, in particular, some eddies may split during the interaction with an island/seamount. Eddy-splitting is related to the size of the island and the submergence depth of the seamount. The results of sensitivity experiments of the interaction between an idealized eddy and an island/seamount indicate that the eddy would split in the qualitative range of 1/4 < R < 2, S < 1/5 (where R and S are two dimensionless parameters of the island size and submergence depth; R is the ratio of the island radius to the eddy radius, and S is the ratio of the seamount submergence depth to the eddy vertical length). And the scale of the secondary eddy split out decreases as the island diameter or the seamount depth increases. In the splitting process, integrated angular momentum (IAM) is transferred from water around the eddy to the eddy core. As a result, some filaments or eddies with opposite vorticity appear around the eddy. Eddy-splitting, therefore, is an important way to transform energy from mesoscale to sub-mesoscale in the ocean.

Citation: Yang, S., Xing, J., Chen, D., and Chen, S.: A modelling study of eddy-splitting by an Island/Seamount, Ocean Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/os-2016-88, in review, 2016.
Shengmu Yang et al.
Shengmu Yang et al.
Shengmu Yang et al.

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Short summary
Motivated by the eddy-splitting near Dongsha Island, the eddy’s trajectory and effect of topography on an idealized eddy evolution were explored using MITgcm. Warm eddies propagate to the southwest while cold eddies propagate to the northwest in open oceans. The results of numerical experiments of the interaction between an idealized eddy and an island/seamount indicate that the eddy would split in a qualitative range, and it's an important way to transform energy from mesoscale to submesoscale.
Motivated by the eddy-splitting near Dongsha Island, the eddy’s trajectory and effect of...
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