Are jets the new eddies? - Dr. Joan Llort (IMAS)

Date & time

2–3pm 16 May 2017


Hales Room, J7



Dr. Joan Llort


 Taimoor Sohail

The vertical transport of surface water and carbon into ocean's interior, known as subduction, is one of the main mechanisms through which the ocean influences Earth's climate. Although subduction has been traditionally associated with the large-scale circulation, both new instrumental approaches and high-resolution models show the occurrence of localised and intermittent subduction episodes associated with small-scale ocean circulation features. Some of these studies also revealed the importance of such events on both the formation of mode water and the export of organic matter. However, the evaluation of episodic subduction at a basin-scale is hindered by its transient and localised nature. In this work, we present an approach to detect subduction events at a synoptic scale using measurements collected by biogeochemical autonomous profiling floats (bgcArgo) in the Southern Ocean since 2010. Our results show that Southern Ocean subduction events were concentrated in three hotspots: the east Indian sector, south of Tasmania and the west Pacific sector. Events were mostly found in mesoscale jets and standing meanders but were absent from regions of high eddy activity. These conclusions motivated the creation of an idealised model configuration with biogeochemistry; and my visit to Andy Hogg’s team.

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