Three-dimensional structure of a cold-core Arctic eddy interacting with the Chukchi Slope Current

A rapid, high‐resolution shipboard survey, using a combination of lowered and expendable hydrographic measurements and vessel‐mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler data, provided a unique three‐dimensional view of an Arctic anti‐cyclonic cold‐core eddy. The eddy was situated 50 km seaward of the Chukchi Sea shelfbreak over the 1000 m isobath, embedded in the offshore side of the Chukchi Slope Current. The eddy core, centered near 150 m depth, consisted of newly ventilated Pacific winter water which was high in nitrate and dissolved oxygen. Its fluorescence signal was due to phaeopigments rather than chlorophyll, indicating that photosynthesis was no longer active, consistent with an eddy age on the order of months. Subtracting out the slope current signal demonstrated that the eddy velocity field was symmetrical with a peak azimuthal speed of order 10 cm s‐1. Its Rossby number was ~0.4, consistent with the fact that the measured cyclogeostrophic velocity was dominated by the geostrophic component. Different scenarios are discussed regarding how the eddy became embedded in the slope current and what the associated ramifications are with respect to eddy spin‐down and ventilation of the Canada Basin halocline.


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Authors: Scott, Ryan M. ORCIDORCID record for Ryan M. Scott, Pickart, Robert S., Lin, Peigen, Münchow, Andreas, Li, Min, Stockwell, Dean A., Brearley, J. Alexander ORCIDORCID record for J. Alexander Brearley

On this site: Alexander Brearley, Ryan Scott
1 November, 2019
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans / 124
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