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Intergyre transport in a wind-driven, quasigeostrophic double gyre: An application of lobe dynamics

Coulliette, Chad and Wiggins, Stephen (2001) Intergyre transport in a wind-driven, quasigeostrophic double gyre: An application of lobe dynamics. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 8 (1-2). pp. 69-94. ISSN 1023-5809. doi:10.5194/npg-7-59-2000.

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We study the flow obtained from a three-layer, eddy-resolving quasigeostrophic ocean circulation model subject to an applied wind stress curl. For this model we will consider transport between the northern and southern gyres separated by an eastward jet. We will focus on the use of techniques from dynamical systems theory, particularly lobe dynamics, in the forming of geometric structures that govern transport. By “govern”, we mean they can be used to compute Lagrangian transport quantities, such as the flux across the jet. We will consider periodic, quasiperiodic, and chaotic velocity fields, and thus assess the effectiveness of dynamical systems techniques in flows with progressively more spatio-temporal complexity. The numerical methods necessary to implement the dynamical systems techniques and the significance of lobe dynamics as a signature of specific “events”, such as rings pinching off from a meandering jet, are also discussed.

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Additional Information:© Author(s) 2000. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. Received: 6 July 1999 – Accepted: 18 November 1999. This research was supported by ONR Grant No. N00014-97-1-0071. We are grateful to Clark David Rowley for use of his n-layer quasigeostrophic model (QGN). We thank Kayo Ide for her many insights throughout this effort and Pavel Berloff and James McWilliams for their cooperation in the early phases of this research. We also thank Byron Ponten and David Ossorio of Amtec Engineering ( for their expertise in extending Tecplot with the Lobe Dynamics Add-on. (note: QGN and the Lobe Dynamics Add-on are freeware, available from our web site at
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Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-97-1-0071
Issue or Number:1-2
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Official Citation:Coulliette, C. and Wiggins, S.: Intergyre transport in a wind-driven, quasigeostrophic double gyre: An application of lobe dynamics, Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 7, 59-85, doi:10.5194/npg-7-59-2000, 2000.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:372
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Deposited On:06 Jun 2005
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:02

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