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Global Eddy-Mean-Flow Interaction From High-Resolution Altimetry and Geoid

Lee-Lueng Fu(1)

(1) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, United States


Analysis of the combined altimeter data from TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS/ENVISAT revealed detailed patterns of the propagation of ocean eddies in the global oceans. These patterns show high correlation with the mean flow of the global ocean circulation. The spatial scales of the eddy propagation variability are often shorter than the resolution of the current geoid produced by the GRACE Mission. Therefore, the resolution of the mean flow determined from altimetry and existing geoid cannot address the eddy-mean-flow problem, which is a critical issue for understanding the dynamics of ocean eddies and their role in ocean general circulation. The eddy propagation velocity in various dynamically interesting regions (Gulf Stream, North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre, Kuroshio, Antarctic Circumpolar Current, etc.) and their relations to the mean flow determined from numerical models and in-situ observations will be presented. The potential value of high-resolution geoid from GOCE will be discussed.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry