Sub-mesoscale ocean vortex trains in the Luzon Strait
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AbstractThis study uses the Argos satellite-tracked surface drifter trajectory data and ENVISAT (European satellite) ASAR (advanced synthetic aperture radar) images to illustrate the ocean vortex trains (OVT) in the Luzon Strait. Two cases that occurred in the northwest of Babuyan Island are observed. The first train of three cyclonic vortices showed up on drifter trajectories from 20 degrees to 20.5 degrees N and from 120 degrees to 121 degrees E, and the second, consisting of five pairs of cyclonic-anticyclonic vortices, occurred on the upstream side of the first one from 19.5 degrees to 20.0 degrees N and from 121.0 degrees to 122.0 degrees E and showed up on the ASAR images acquired on 19 November 2006. The total length of the vortex train axis reaches about 250 km. All vortices propagate northwestward (similar to 315 degrees TN). The mean angular velocity is (2.07 +/- 0.18) x 10(-5) s(-1). Theoretical models of ocean vortex radar image derived from radar imaging theories are used to extract dynamical parameters from ASAR imagery signatures, which include the distance between two consecutive vortices and that between two rows of vortices of (22.6 +/- 1.9) km and (8.2 +/- 1.2) km, respectively, the maximum rotational velocity radius as 4.70 km, and the vortex rotational angular velocity 3 x 10(-5)s(-1). Dynamical analyses give the mean velocity of the current of 0.65 ms(-1), and the propagation velocity of the vortex 0.58 ms(-1). The vortex shedding rate is estimated as 2.57 x 10(-5) s(-1). The Reynolds number is estimated as 50 to 500. For the individual vortex and the vortex train, the Rossby numbers are O(0.4), and O(0.5), respectively, implying that both vortex and vortex train observed in the Luzon Strait have a sub-mesoscale nature. This study also reveals a strong current with an average surface current velocity of around 0.7 ms(-1) and the direction of around 315 degrees TN flowing directly from the Pacific to SCS passing through the southern Luzon Strait. The mean flow velocity can be calculated using methods developed in this study and OVT dynamical models. This information may provide more insight to the circulation systems in the area including the origin of Kuroshio.
All Author(s) ListZheng QN, Lin H, Meng JM, Hu XM, Song YT, Zhang YZ, Li CY
Journal nameJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume Number113
Issue NumberC4
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU) / Wiley
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Web of Science Subject CategoriesGEOSCIENCES, MULTIDISCIPLINARY; Oceanography

Last updated on 2021-12-05 at 04:19