The Western Mediterranean basin (WMED) is characterized by the presence of energetic and dynamic mesoscale cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies. They mainly originate along the Algerian and the Northern currents and have a large influence on the basin circulation. Eddies can last for months, with longer lifetimes associated with the anticyclones, which can move far from their areas of origin. As they partially isolate and transfer water masses, they also have an impact on water properties (physical, chemical and biological), pollutant's dispersion and transport of eggs, larvae and planktonic organisms. In this study, a connectivity analysis method is applied to the anticyclonic eddies (AEs) identified by an automated hybrid detection and tracking algorithm south of 42 & DEG;N in the WMED. The same methodology is also applied to the trajectories of Lagrangian surface drifters available in the study area. The purpose is to highlight the connections between different areas of the basin linked to eddy activities in addition to the connectivity due to the mean surface circulation. Drifter data analysis showed that all the WMED sub-basins are strongly interconnected, with the mean surface circulation allowing a shortcut connection among many areas of the basin. The connectivity analysis of the AEs tracks shows that although AEs are ubiquitous in the WMED, their connectivity is limited to well-defined regions, depending on their origin location. Three main regions: the south-western, the south-eastern and the northern parts of the basin are characterized by AEs recirculation, with sporadic export of eddies to the other WMED zones.

Connectivity Analysis Applied to Mesoscale Eddies in the Western Mediterranean Basin

Aulicino, G;Falco, P
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The Western Mediterranean basin (WMED) is characterized by the presence of energetic and dynamic mesoscale cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies. They mainly originate along the Algerian and the Northern currents and have a large influence on the basin circulation. Eddies can last for months, with longer lifetimes associated with the anticyclones, which can move far from their areas of origin. As they partially isolate and transfer water masses, they also have an impact on water properties (physical, chemical and biological), pollutant's dispersion and transport of eggs, larvae and planktonic organisms. In this study, a connectivity analysis method is applied to the anticyclonic eddies (AEs) identified by an automated hybrid detection and tracking algorithm south of 42 & DEG;N in the WMED. The same methodology is also applied to the trajectories of Lagrangian surface drifters available in the study area. The purpose is to highlight the connections between different areas of the basin linked to eddy activities in addition to the connectivity due to the mean surface circulation. Drifter data analysis showed that all the WMED sub-basins are strongly interconnected, with the mean surface circulation allowing a shortcut connection among many areas of the basin. The connectivity analysis of the AEs tracks shows that although AEs are ubiquitous in the WMED, their connectivity is limited to well-defined regions, depending on their origin location. Three main regions: the south-western, the south-eastern and the northern parts of the basin are characterized by AEs recirculation, with sporadic export of eddies to the other WMED zones.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/303909
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