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Greg Holloway
Jane Eert


Possible multiple equilibria of large-scale flows over topography have been subjects of many recent investigations. Early suggestions of Charney and De Vore, Hart and Wiin-Nicisen were based upon idealized flows of very few degrees of freedom. Subsequent studies based upon more elaborate systems failed to show intransitive multiple equilibria. On the contrary, we exhibit well-resolved, fully eddy-active model results which show multiple equilibria to be well-established over a range of parameters. “Blocked” regimes are characterized by transient eddy activity. Under steady external forcing, the flow regimes appear to be intransitive.

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Steven J. Bograd
Alexander B. Rabinovich
Richard E. Thomson
, and
A. Jane Eert


The effects of reduced sampling schedules (duty cycles) on velocity statistics derived from satellite-tracked drifters in the northeast Pacific Ocean are investigated. Continuous segments of the drifter records (in which all available satellite positions fixes are recorded and processed by Service ARGOS) are degraded to match the standard duty cycle used in the World Ocean Circulation Experiment–Surface Velocity Program, in which there are 48 h of no data transmission followed by 24 h of received transmission (48–24 h). Also examined are duty cycles of 32–16 h and 16–8 h. It is found that the strong inertial motions prevalent in the drifter records result in significantly biased statistics derived from the degraded series. Reproduction of the original prime (mean and standard deviation) and rotary spectral statistics requires an interpolation that takes into account the oscillatory component of the drifter motions. Duty cycles having shorter but more frequent gaps (e.g., 16–8 h) are not sufficient to resolve the main features of the flow. The authors recommend that interpolations over duty cycle segments of drifter records be customized to account for the dominant modes of variability observed in available continuous segments.

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