[Eoas-seminar] Reminder: Oceanography Dissertation Defense - Erick Olvera - Dec 17, 10am - 327OSB

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Mon Dec 17 09:14:37 EST 2018

Title: "Contribution of the wind and Loop Current Eddies to the circulation in the Western Gulf of Mexico"

The role of the Loop Current (LC) and their associated eddies in driving the circulation of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has been investigated throughout several decades from different perspectives. The practical benefits of a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the circulation in the GOM are many, from ocean prediction to fisheries management. In the present study, the role of the wind and the Loop Current Eddies (LCEs) in sustaining the less well known western GOM is investigated by isolating the various types of external forcing in a set of numerical experiments using the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). First, we examine the impact of the wind and open boundary conditions on LCE shedding seasonality and separation period. We then discuss the different factors that contribute to the wind-driven circulation in the western GOM. Finally, the relative importance of the wind, LCEs and another processes in sustaining the western GOM circulation is analyzed with a vorticity budget approach. It was found that the overall effect of the wind forcing increases the shedding of eddies, thereby reducing the mean LCE separation period by almost 23%, but tend to delay the shedding in certain months altering their "seasonality".
Also, the circulation shows that the response of the flow in the Bay of Campeche (BOC) to the
wind is mainly barotropic, while the eddy-induced circulation response is partially baroclinic. The vorticity balance performed in the western basin shows that planetary vorticity and stretching of water column are the most important terms of the balance in time scales longer than weeks, and their variability are good indicators of LCEs entering the central and northwestern regions. However the southwestern region is primary driven by stretching. Also, our results show that mean advection of vorticity and planetary vorticity are responsible for the time-averaged vorticity field. Input of vorticity through wind stress is negligible in the vorticity balance.
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