Ocean and Coastal Research, Volume: 70 Supplement 1, Published: 2022
  • Ocean Energy, Fluxes and an Anti-Anti-Turbulence Conjecture Original Article

    Dewar, WK; Deremble, B

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract The energy sources for convection and the general circulation are revisited through an analysis of the compressible equations of motion, rather than the Boussinesq equations. We are motivated in this endeavor by a more straightforward connection in the compressible equations between thermodynamics and dynamics, and the continuing debate in the field regarding the suggestion, made first in the form of Sandström’s theorem, that surface buoyancy fluxes can not drive the overturning circulation. While ultimately supporting the Sandström position, the analysis leads to some new insights into ocean energetics and surface energy fluxes. We argue the ultimate role of buoyancy fluxes are to damp the circulation and that ocean energy cycles between internal and kinetic energy. Ocean heating due to the general circulation, geothermal heat flux and the biosphere are evaluated for their roles and we suggest the latter two provide energy to the overturning much more effectively than surface forcing. All three also contribute significantly to net ocean surface energy flux, an effect that influences the interpretation of ocean heat content imbalances.
  • Implementation of a portable module for assessing the eutrophication risk: initial evaluation in the upwelling-driven bay of Ria de Arousa (NW-Iberian Peninsula) Case Report

    Pardo, Paula C.; Bastero, Susana F.; Moreno, Laura; Castro, Carmen G.

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract This study presents the implementation of a portable module designed for autonomous analysis of sea-surface inorganic nutrients onboard vessels of opportunity, as an additional tool for assessing the levels of eutrophication risk. The study was carried out during August-mid-September 2019 in the Ria de Arousa and outer shelf area (NW-Iberian coastal upwelling system). During this period, the distributions of the measured sea-surface concentrations of nitrate and phosphate were compared according to three Oceanographic Environments (OEs). The OEs were defined according to the interplay between upwelling/downwelling events and river discharge on the coastal system. The nutrient measurements agreed well with the OEs, showing that the portable module is a useful tool for opportune measurements of sea-surface nutrients and can serve as a complement for the available monitoring networks. An initial evaluation of the eutrophication risk in this area indicated low risk levels (following the Environmental European Agency criteria) for most of the measured points in summer, except for some vulnerable areas under certain OEs. Nutrient concentrations are sensitive to periods of Sustained Upwelling events, reaching medium risk levels (7.14 - 9.05 µmol L-1 for nitrate and 0.39 - 0.64 µmol L-1 for phosphate) in inner parts of the Ria de Arousa. These areas are characterized by abrupt bathymetric changes that channel and intensify the upwelling processes, increasing sea-surface nutrient concentrations. High eutrophication risk levels of phosphate (1.53 µmol L-1) were detected close to the coastline during Upwelling Relaxation periods. Under these conditions, continental flows, previously retained by the upwelling, are able to expand. The location of these samples and the difference in concentration between phosphate and nitrate indicate a most likely source in wastewater outflows. Our results highlight the need for deeper studies on the synergy between upwelling/downwelling processes and the continental water discharges and its modulation of sea-surface nutrients.
  • Temporally Varying Mesoscale Eddy Characteristics in the California Current System Identified from RAFOS Floats Methods

    Chu, Peter C; Fan, Chenwu

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract The SOund Fixing And Ranging (RAFOS) floats were deployed by the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) near California coast from 1992 to 2004 at depth between 150 and 600 m (http://www.oc.nps.edu/npsRAFOS/). Each drifter trajectory is adaptively decomposed using the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) into low-frequency (non-diffusive, i.e., current) and high-frequency (diffusive, i.e., eddies) components. The identified eddies are mostly anticyclonic with total 203 anticyclonic and 36 cyclonic spirals. Eddy characteristics are determined from the time series of individual RAFOS float trajectory. They are the current velocity scale, eddy radial scale, eddy velocity scale, eddy Rossby number, and eddy-current kinetic energy ratio. The California Current System is found an eddy-rich system with the overall eddy-current kinetic energy ratio of 1.78. It contains submesoscale and mesoscale eddies. The horizontal length scale of 10 km is a good threshold of the eddy radial scale (Leddy) to separate the two kinds of eddies. The mean eddy Rossby number is 0.72 for the submesoscale eddies and 0.06 for the mesoscale eddies. The current-eddy kinetic energy ratio is similar between submesoscale and mesoscale eddies. This may imply similar current-eddy kinetic energy transfer for submesoscale and mesoscale eddies. Statistical characteristics and interannual variability of current velocity scale and eddy characteristic parameters are also presented.
Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo Praça do Oceanográfico 191, CEP: 05508-120, São Paulo, SP - Brasil, Tel.: (11) 3091-6501 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: diretoria.io@usp.br