23 Mar 2022
23 Mar 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Impact of a long-lived anticyclonic mesoscale eddy on seawater anomalies in the northeastern tropical Pacific Ocean: A composite analysis from hydrographic measurements, sea level altimetry data and reanalysis model products

Kaveh Purkiani1,2, Matthias Haeckel2, Sabine Haalboom3, Katja Schmidt4, Peter Urban2,5, Iason-Zois Gazis2, Henko de Stigter3, André Paul1, Maren Walter1, and Annemiek Vink4 Kaveh Purkiani et al.
  • 1MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and Faculty of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 2GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  • 3NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Ocean Systems, Texel, The Netherlands
  • 4Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hannover, Germany
  • 5Department of Geology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Abstract. Using observational data, satellite altimeters, and reanalysis model products, we have investigated eddy-induced seawater anomalies and heat/salt transport in the northeastern tropical Pacific Ocean. An eddy detection algorithm (EDA) was used to identify eddy formation at the Mexican Tehuantepec Gulf (TT) in July 2018 during an unusually strong summer wind event. The eddy separated from the coast with a mean translation velocity of 11 cm s-1 and a mean radius of 115 km and travelled 2050–2400 km westwards off the Central American coast, where it was followed at approx -114° W and 11° N for oceanographic observation between April and May 2019. The in-situ observations show that the major eddy impacts are restricted to the upper 300 m of the water column and are traceable down to 1500 m water depth. In the eddy core at 80 m water depth an extreme positive temperature anomaly of +8 °C, a negative salinity anomaly of -0.75 psu, a positive fluorescence anomaly of +0.8 mg m-3 and a positive dissolved oxygen concentration anomaly of 160 µmol kg-1 are observed. Considering the water volume trapped within the eddy, an average positive westward zonal heat transport anomaly of 85 × 1012 W and an average westward negative zonal salt transport of -2.2 × 106 kg s-1 are estimated. The heat transport is the equivalent of 1 % of the total annual zonal eddy-induced heat transport at this latitude in the Pacific Ocean. Understanding the dynamics of mesoscale eddies in this region of the Pacific Ocean is especially important in the light of potential deep-sea mining activities that are being targeted on this area.

Kaveh Purkiani et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on os-2022-15', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on os-2022-15', Anonymous Referee #2, 22 Apr 2022

Kaveh Purkiani et al.

Kaveh Purkiani et al.


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Short summary
On the basis of altimetry data and in-situ hydrographic observations, the impacts of an anticyclone mesoscale eddy (large rotating body of water) on the seawater characteristics was investigated during a research campaign. The particular eddy presents significant anomalies on the seawater properties at 1500 m. The potential role of eddies on the seafloor and its consequential effect on the altered dispersion of mining-related sediment plumes is important to assess the future mining operations.