Accession Number : ADA331919

Title :   Lagrangian Measurements of Eddy Characteristics in the California Current System

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis

Corporate Author : NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s) : Sires, James G.

PDF Url : ADA331919

Report Date : MAR 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 134

Abstract : During the Eastern Boundary Current program in 1993, 96 Argos-tracked surface drifters, drogued to 15 m depth, and satellite thermal imagery were used to provide a description of the mesoscale features in the California Current System off the northern California coast. The drifter movements and satellite images revealed a highly energetic series of filaments and eddies that dominated the summer flow field off the coast, similar to those noted in the earlier CODE, OPTOMA, and CTZ studies. Winter mesoscale activity in the region was less energetic, with the principle feature being the poleward-flowing Davidson Current. Translation rates for mesoscale eddies were deduced from drifter trajectories in the summer period. Translation rates, vorticity, divergence and eddy center positions were also estimated for a cyclone and anticylone sampled in July and September, respectively, by constraining observed drifter velocities to a linear Taylor expansion in the least square sense. Translation rates from this technique were similar to those observed from previous shipboard surveys and drifter motions. Using observations over 7 (12) days, the cyclonic (anticyclonic) eddy was determined to have a translation rate of 3.7 (4.2) cm/s to the southwest. The least square technique, applied to shorter time periods, however, provided unreliable estimates of eddy properties when drifters were not evenly distributed around the eddy.

Descriptors :   *OCEAN CURRENTS, *EDDIES(FLUID MECHANICS), THESES, VORTICES, COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS, FLOW FIELDS, SEASONAL VARIATIONS, INFRARED IMAGES, LEAST SQUARES METHOD, CALIFORNIA, COASTAL ENGINEERING, THERMAL IMAGES, WIND STRESS, LAGRANGIAN FUNCTIONS, BUOYS, MILITARY OCEANOGRAPHY, ANTICYCLONES, SATELLITE IMAGERY.

Subject Categories : Physical and Dynamic Oceanography

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE