Submesoscale cyclones in the Agulhas current

2017-06-06

By M. Krug, S. Swart, J. Gula • 2017

Gliders were deployed for the first time in the Agulhas Current region to investigate processes of interactions between western boundary currents and shelf waters. Continuous observations from the gliders in water depths of 100–1000 m and over a period of 1 month provide the first high-resolution observations of the Agulhas Current's inshore front. The observations collected in a nonmeandering Agulhas Current show the presence of submesoscale cyclonic eddies, generated at the inshore boundary of the Agulhas Current. The submesoscale cyclones are often associated with warm water plumes, which extend from their western edge and exhibit strong northeastward currents. These features are a result of shear instabilities and extract their energy from the mean Agulhas Current jet.

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