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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-64
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-64
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  13 Jul 2020

13 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Effect of mesoscale eddy on thermocline depth over the global ocean: deepen and uplift

Xiaoyan Chen1 and Ge Chen1,2 Xiaoyan Chen and Ge Chen
  • 1Department of Marine Technology, Institute for Advanced Ocean Study, Ocean University of China, China
  • 2Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, China

Abstract. Existing studies on the vertical displacement of thermoclines driven by mesoscale eddies are insufficient and rare. Using 17-year Argo dataset in combination with satellite altimetry, the deepening and uplifting of the depth of thermocline (DTC) by anticyclonic (AE) or cyclonic eddies (CE), respectively, were estimated globally. DTC shifts exhibited multiple geographic and seasonal trends, with the largest magnitude shifts occurring in March and September in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, respectively. The more pronounced DTC shifts were concentrated in the midlatitudes, and the largest DTC displacements appeared along the western boundaries of strong current systems, with peak shifts of more than 40 m. In general, eddy-induced DTC shifts were linearly correlated with eddy radius and amplitude, suggesting that high intensity eddies induced larger DTC displacements. Finally, a normalized analysis revealed a monopole (ring) structure of DTC ringing the eddy center inside the AE (CE). The forces of AE and CE on the DTC were different, seen in the stronger deepening at the center of the AE (~ 30 m) than the uplifting at the center of the CE (~ 20 m). One possible mechanism for this asymmetry could stem from differential current shears in the thermoclines in AE and CE.

Xiaoyan Chen and Ge Chen

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Xiaoyan Chen and Ge Chen

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Short summary
We systematically estimated the vertical displacement of thermocline affected by mesoscale eddies using global, 17-year spanning Argo dataset in combination with satellite altimetry. Thermocline is deeper in anticyclones, shallower in cyclones. Eddies induce the largest thermocline displacement in spring especially along strong western boundaries. This displacement is linearly correlated with eddy radius and amplitude. And the effect of eddies with opposite polarity on thermocline is asymmetric.
We systematically estimated the vertical displacement of thermocline affected by mesoscale...
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