Zonal Variability in the Distribution of Eddy Energy in the Mid-Latitude North Pacific Ocean

Robert L. Bernstein Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego 92093

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Warren B. White Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego 92093

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Abstract

Hydrographic and expendable bathythermograph (XBT) data from several sources have been drawn together to summarize the distribution of baroclinc mesoscale eddy energy in the mid-latitude North Pacific Ocean. A striking order of magnitude decrease in the energy distribution at 500–1000 km wave-lengths is observed to occur abruptly east of the 170°W meridian. Mean zonal wavenumber spectra, constructed from 16 zonal XBT sections on either side of 170°W, confirm these observations.

Abstract

Hydrographic and expendable bathythermograph (XBT) data from several sources have been drawn together to summarize the distribution of baroclinc mesoscale eddy energy in the mid-latitude North Pacific Ocean. A striking order of magnitude decrease in the energy distribution at 500–1000 km wave-lengths is observed to occur abruptly east of the 170°W meridian. Mean zonal wavenumber spectra, constructed from 16 zonal XBT sections on either side of 170°W, confirm these observations.

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