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TAKURO MATSUTA and YUKIO MASUMOTO

Abstract

The non-locality of eddy-mean flow interactions, which appears explicitly in the modified Lorentz diagram as a form of the interaction energy, and its link to other estimation methods are revisited, and a new formulation for the potential enstrophy is proposed. The application of these methods to the Kuroshio extension region suggests that the combined use of energy analysis with other methods, including the potential enstrophy diagram, provides more comprehensive understandings for the eddy-mean flow interactions in the limited region. It is shown that the interaction energy is transported from the nearshore and upstream regions to the downstream region in the form of the interaction energy flux, causing acceleration of the Kuroshio extension jet in the downstream region. The potential enstrophy diagram indicates that the eddy field decelerates (accelerates) the jet in the nearshore (downstream) region, which is a consistent result with the energy analysis. It turns out that the interaction potential enstrophy flux is radiated from a region of the eddy kinetic energy maximum towards the upstream region, which is the opposite direction from the interaction energy flux. The interaction potential enstrophy flux originated from this eddy kinetic energy maximum region also convergences near the center of the northern recirculation gyre of the Kuroshio extension region and tends to stabilize the structures of the recirculation gyre. Together with the energy analysis that indicates the eddy field accelerates the northeastern part of the recirculation gyre through the local interactions, the present analyses support the arguments on the eddy-driven northern recirculation gyre.

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