Heat and Freshwater Transport by Mesoscale Eddies in the Southern Subpolar North Atlantic

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • A new data set of temperature and salinity fields reconstructed from satellite altimetry data between January 1993 and April 2014 is combined with satellite observations of mesoscale eddies in the subpolar North Atlantic between 40°N–55°N and 43°W–20.5°W. The data set is used to calculate the meridional heat and freshwater transports related to the propagation of eddies crossing 47°N, a latitude close to the boundary between the subpolar and the subtropical gyres. The largest heat and freshwater transports by eddies are observed in the western part of the Newfoundland Basin. Around 35–45% of the heat and
    freshwater transports by eddies across 47°N stem from individual isolated eddies with large thermohaline signatures. Northward moving cold and fresh cyclonic eddies carrying subpolar water from the Western Boundary Current make a considerable contribution to the overall heat and freshwater transport by eddies crossing 47°N. While the transport by individual eddies is negligible compared to the transport by the mean flow in this region, it can have a notable influence on the temporal variability. The analysis is repeated for a model simulation with 1/12° horizontal resolution for the period 2002–2013. The observed results are well reproduced in the model simulation; in particular, the modeled number of eddies crossing 47°N, the spatial distribution, and the associated heat and freshwater transports across this latitude are consistent with
    the observations.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2019. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Müller V*, Kieke D, Myers PG, Pennelly C*, Steinfeldt R, Stendardo I. (2019). Heat and Freshwater Transport by Mesoscale Eddies in the Southern Subpolar North Atlantic. Journal of Geophysical Research -Oceans. 124: 5565-5585.