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Deep eddy energy and topographic Rossby waves

By L. -y. Oey and H. -c. Lee

Abstract

Observations suggest the hypothesis that deep eddy kinetic energy (EKE) in the Gulf of Mexico can be accounted for by topographic Rossby waves (TRWs). It is presumed that the TRWs are forced by Loop Current (LC) pulsation, Loop Current eddy (LCE) shedding, and perhaps also by LCE itself. Although the hypothesis is supported by model results, such as those presented in Oey, the existence of TRWs in the model and how they can be forced by larger-scale LC and LCEs with longer-period vacillations have not been clarified. In this paper, results from a 10-yr simulation of LC and LCEs, with double the resolution of that used by Oey, are analyzed to isolate the TRWs. It is shown that along an east-to-west band across the gulf, approximately over the 3000-m isobath, significant EKE that accounts for over one-half of the total spectrum is contained in the 20–100-day periods. Bottom energy intensification exists in this east–west band with vertical decay scales of about 600–300 m decreasing westward. The decrease agrees with the TRW solution. The band is also located within the region where TRWs can be supported by the topographic slope and stratification used in the model and where wavenumber and frequency estimates are consistent with the TRW dispersion relation. The analysis indicates significant correlation between pairs of east–west stations, over distances of approximately 400 km. Contours of lag times suggest offshore (i.e., downslope) phase propagation, and thus the east–west band indicate

Publisher: Press
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.353.1014
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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