Accessibility navigation

Tracer Leakage from Modeled Agulhas Rings

de Steur, L., Van Leeuwen, P. J. and Drijfhout, S. S. (2004) Tracer Leakage from Modeled Agulhas Rings. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 34 (6). pp. 1387-1399. ISSN 0022-3670

[img] Text - Published Version
· Restricted to Repository staff only
· The Copyright of this document has not been checked yet. This may affect its availability.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/1520-0485(2004)034<1387:TLFMAR>2.0.CO;2


In a numerical, isopycnal, ocean model the mixing is investigated with the environment of two idealized Agulhas rings, one that splits, and one that remains coherent. The evolution of a passive tracer , initially contained within the rings, shows that tracer leakage is associated with the for mation of filaments in the early stage of ring evolution. These filaments reach down to the ther mocline. In the deepest layers leakage occurs on a larger scale. Self-advection of the rings is ver y irregular , and it is not possible to compute a Lagrangian boundar y i n order to estimate the transport of leakage from the rings. T o describe the processes that gover n tracer leakage, in a coordinate frame moving with the ring a kinematic separatrix is defined in the streamfunction field for the nondivergent flow . Initially , filaments arise because of the elongation of the ring, which is mainly gover ned by an m 5 2 instability that is collaborating with differential rotation. Because of beta, the symmetr y i s destroyed related to the separatrix associated with a stagnation point in the flow . The filament upstream of the stagnation point grows much faster and is associated with the bulk of tracer leakage. Mixing is enhanced by time dependence of the separatrix. As a result, there are no large differences between the leakage from a coherent ring, where the m 5 2 instability equilibrates, and from a splitting ring, where the m 5 2 instability keeps growing, which confir ms that the amount of leakage is mainly gover ned by the ring’ s initial defor mation combined with unsteady self-advection of the ring and not by the splitting of the ring. The decay of tracer content in the ther mocline shows that in the first months up to 40% of the ring water can be mixed with the environment. In deeper layers the decay of tracer content may reach up to 90%.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:49813

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation