Articles | Volume 20, issue 1
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-20-103-2024
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-20-103-2024
Research article
 | 
23 Jan 2024
Research article |  | 23 Jan 2024

Characterization of physical properties of a coastal upwelling filament with evidence of enhanced submesoscale activity and transition from balanced to unbalanced motions in the Benguela upwelling region

Ryan P. North, Julia Dräger-Dietel, and Alexa Griesel

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Approach: In situ Observations | Properties and processes: Mesoscale to submesoscale dynamics
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Cited articles

Adams, K. A., Hosegood, P., Taylor, J. R., Sallée, J.-B., Bachman, S., Torres, R., and Stamper, M.: Frontal Circulation and Submesoscale Variability during the Formation of a Southern Ocean Mesoscale Eddy, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 47, 1737–1753, https://doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-16-0266.1, 2017. a, b
Álvarez-Salgado, X. A.: Contribution of upwelling filaments to offshore carbon export in the subtropical Northeast Atlantic Ocean, Limnol. Oceanogr., 52, 1287–1292, https://doi.org/10.4319/lo.2007.52.3.1287, 2007. a
Balwada, D., LaCasce, J. H., and Speer, K. G.: Scale-dependent distribution of kinetic energy from surface drifters in the Gulf of Mexico , Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 10856, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL069405, 2016. a, b
Barton, E., Inall, M., Sherwin, T., and Torres, R.: Vertical structure, turbulent mixing and fluxes during Lagrangian observations of an upwelling filament system off Northwest Iberia, Prog. Oceanogr., 51, 223–257, https://doi.org/10.1016/0079-6611(83)90009-5, 2001. a
Bettencourt, J. H., Rossi, V., Hernández-García, E., and Cristóbal López, M. M.: Characterization of the structure and cross-shore transport properties of a coastal upwelling filament using three-dimensional finite-size L yapunov exponents, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 122, 7433–7448, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JC012700, 2017. a
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The Benguela upwelling region off the coast of Namibia supplies cold water from the deep ocean that is transported offshore in finger-like structures called filaments. We investigate one major filament using measurements from a ship that crossed it multiple times and with mutiple buoys that follow the ocean currents. We find that the motions associated with the filament enhance the kinetic energy at small scales and provide a pathway for mixing of water and turbulent dissipation of energy.