Antisymmetry of oceanic eddies across the Kuroshio over a shelfbreak
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Authors: Yu Liu, Changming Dong, Xiaohui Liu & Jihai Dong

Abstract: From the analysis of oceanic eddies detected in the drifter trajectories of the Global Drifter Program (GDP) data set, it was found that oceanic eddies are asymmetrically distributed across the Kuroshio in the East China Sea: predominant cyclonic (anticyclonic) eddies are on the western (eastern) sides of Kuroshio. This distribution is confirmed by high-resolution numerical modeling output as well. Most of these eddies are 5~20 km in radius, less than the local first baroclinic deformation radius, thus categorized as submesoscale. The generation mechanism of these submesoscale eddies is speculated to be related to the horizontal velocity shear of the Kuroshio when it flows northeastward along the shelf break in the East China Sea. The budget analysis of eddy kinetic energy shows that both the horizontal shear and vertical buoyancy flux are important energy sources for eddy generation on the two sides of Kuroshio axis. The finding highlights the unique feature of oceanic eddies along the western boundary currents.

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-07059-1