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A Lagrangian Approach to the Loop Current Eddy Separation : Volume 20, Issue 1 (23/01/2013)

By Andrade-canto, F.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003990676
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 12
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: A Lagrangian Approach to the Loop Current Eddy Separation : Volume 20, Issue 1 (23/01/2013)  
Author: Andrade-canto, F.
Volume: Vol. 20, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Nonlinear, Processes
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Sheinbaum, J., Sansón, L. Z., & Andrade-Canto, F. (2013). A Lagrangian Approach to the Loop Current Eddy Separation : Volume 20, Issue 1 (23/01/2013). Retrieved from

Description: Departmento de Oceanografía Física, CICESE, Carretera Ensenada-Tijuana 3918, 22860 Ensenada, Baja California, México. Determining when and how a Loop Current eddy (LCE) in the Gulf of Mexico will finally separate is a difficult task, since several detachment re-attachment processes can occur during one of these events. Separation is usually defined based on snapshots of Eulerian fields such as sea surface height (SSH) but here we suggest that a Lagrangian view of the LCE separation process is more appropriate and objective. The basic idea is very simple: separation should be defined whenever water particles from the cyclonic side of the Loop Current move swiftly from the Yucatan Peninsula to the Florida Straits instead of penetrating into the NE Gulf of Mexico. The properties of backward-time finite time Lyapunov exponents (FTLE) computed from a numerical model of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea are used to estimate the skeleton of flow and the structures involved in LCE detachment events. An Eulerian metric is defined, based on the slope of the strain direction of the instantaneous hyperbolic point of the Loop Current anticyclone that provides useful information to forecast final LCE detachments. We highlight cases in which an LCE separation metric based on SSH contours (Leben, 2005) suggests there is a separated LCE that later reattaches, whereas the slope method and FTLE structure indicate the eddy remains dynamically connected to the Loop Current during the process.

A Lagrangian approach to the Loop Current eddy separation

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