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Eddies in the Western Arctic Ocean From Spaceborne SAR Observations Over Open Ocean and Marginal Ice Zones

Kozlov, Igor E. and Artamonova, Anastasia V. and Manucharyan, Georgy E. and Kubryakov, Arseny A. (2019) Eddies in the Western Arctic Ocean From Spaceborne SAR Observations Over Open Ocean and Marginal Ice Zones. Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans, 124 (9). pp. 6601-6616. ISSN 2169-9275. doi:10.1029/2019JC015113.

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The Western Arctic Ocean is a host to major ocean circulation systems, many of which generate eddies that can transport water masses and corresponding tracers over long distances from their formation sites. However, comprehensive observations of critical eddy characteristics are currently not available and are limited to spatially and temporally sparse in situ observations. Here we use high‐resolution spaceborne synthetic aperture radar measurements to detect eddies from their surface imprints in ice‐free sea surface roughness, and in sea ice patterns throughout marginal ice zones. We provide the first estimate of eddy characteristics extending over the seasonally ice‐free and marginal ice zone regions of the Western Arctic Ocean, including their locations, diameters, and monthly distribution. Using available synthetic aperture radar data, we identified over 4,000 open ocean eddies, as well as over 3,500 eddies in marginal ice zones from June to October in 2007, 2011, and 2016. Eddies range in size between 0.5 and 100 km and are frequently found over the shelf and near continental slopes but also present in the deep Canada Basin and over the Chukchi Plateau. We find that cyclonic eddies are twice more frequent compared to anticyclonic eddies at the surface, distinct from the dominating anticyclonic eddies observed at depth by in situ moorings and ice‐tethered profilers. Our study supports the notion that eddies are ubiquitous in the Western Arctic Ocean even in the presence of sea ice and emphasizes the need for improved ocean observations and modeling at eddy scales.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kozlov, Igor E.0000-0001-6378-8956
Manucharyan, Georgy E.0000-0001-7959-2675
Kubryakov, Arseny A.0000-0003-3561-5913
Additional Information:© 2019 American Geophysical Union. Received 5 MAR 2019; Accepted 21 AUG 2019; Accepted article online 29 AUG 2019; Published online 9 SEP 2019. The analysis of eddies in this work was supported by RFBR grant 18‐35‐20078. Processing and analysis of Sentinel‐1 and ALOS‐2 Palsar‐2 data were done within RSF grant 18‐77‐00082. Part of this study was done by IEK during his visit to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA) within the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program in 2017/2018. G.E.M. acknowledges the support from Davidow Discovery Fund. Software development for data analysis in this work was made under the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation contract 0555‐2019‐0001. The authors declare no conflict of interests. Envisat ASAR images used in this work were available from European Space Agency within CAT‐1 Project С1F.29721. The Envisat ASAR data used in this paper can be ordered via‐access/how‐to‐access‐esa‐data. ALOS‐2 PALSAR‐2 data were available from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency within Project PI.3395 of the 6th Research Announcement for the Advanced Land Observing Satellite‐2 (ALOS‐2), and can be ordered via Sentinel‐1 data can be accessed from Copernicus Open Access Hub at The authors would like to thank Gianluca Meneghello and one anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments and valuable suggestions on improving the quality of the manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Russian Foundation for Basic Research18‐35‐20078
Russian Science Foundation18‐77‐00082
Fulbright FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Davidow Discovery FundUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation0555‐2019‐0001
Subject Keywords:ocean eddies; Arctic Ocean; SAR imaging; marginal ice zone; submesoscale dynamics; Beaufort Gyre
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191024-085839345
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Official Citation:Kozlov, I. E., Artamonova, A. V., Manucharyan, G. E., & Kubryakov, A. A. (2019). Eddies in the Western Arctic Ocean from spaceborne SAR observations over open ocean and marginal ice zones. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124, 6601–6616.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99431
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Oct 2019 16:22
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:46

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