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Cyclonic Eddies Northeast of the Campeche Bank from Altimetry Data

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  • 1 Center for Ocean–Atmospheric Prediction Studies, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
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Abstract

Eight cyclonic eddies were identified near the western edge of the Loop Current, at the northeast shelf break of the Campeche Bank, through TOPEX/Poseidon sea surface height anomaly data from January 1993 through March 2000. The eddies' migration and their lifecycle are described. The formation of the eddies appears to be related to the dynamics of the Loop Current because the timing of their generation corresponds to the last stage of the anticyclone shedding from the Loop Current. The cyclones intensify while moving slightly to the northwest along the shelf break of the Campeche Bank; later, some cyclones are observed to move northward toward the Mississippi shelf break. The cyclones remain next to the Campeche Bank, south of 26°N, from 1.3 to 9.6 months; later, some of them move northward and strengthen by merging with other eddies, extending their life span. The eddies' vertical structure is analyzed with hydrographic data, and the connection between the formation of the cyclones and the evolution of the Loop Current is further described using sea surface temperature images.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Jorge Zavala-Hidalgo, COAPS/The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840. Email: zavala@coaps.fsu.edu

Abstract

Eight cyclonic eddies were identified near the western edge of the Loop Current, at the northeast shelf break of the Campeche Bank, through TOPEX/Poseidon sea surface height anomaly data from January 1993 through March 2000. The eddies' migration and their lifecycle are described. The formation of the eddies appears to be related to the dynamics of the Loop Current because the timing of their generation corresponds to the last stage of the anticyclone shedding from the Loop Current. The cyclones intensify while moving slightly to the northwest along the shelf break of the Campeche Bank; later, some cyclones are observed to move northward toward the Mississippi shelf break. The cyclones remain next to the Campeche Bank, south of 26°N, from 1.3 to 9.6 months; later, some of them move northward and strengthen by merging with other eddies, extending their life span. The eddies' vertical structure is analyzed with hydrographic data, and the connection between the formation of the cyclones and the evolution of the Loop Current is further described using sea surface temperature images.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Jorge Zavala-Hidalgo, COAPS/The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840. Email: zavala@coaps.fsu.edu

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