Cautionary tales from the mesoscale eddy transport tensor

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Takaya Uchida , Dhruv Balwada , Quentin Jamet, William K. Dewar, Bruno Deremble , Thierry Penduff, Julien Le Sommer


The anisotropic mesoscale eddy transport tensor is diagnosed using passive tracers advected in both an idealized 101-member mesoscale-resolving quasi-geostrophic (QG) double-gyre ensemble, and a realistic 24-member eddying ($1/12^\circ$) ensemble of the North Atlantic. We assert that the Reynold's decomposition along the ensemble dimension, rather than the spatial or temporal dimension, allows us to capture the intrinsic spatiotemporal variability of the mean flow and eddies.
The tensor exhibits good performance in reconstructing the eddy fluxes of passive tracers, here defined as fluctuations about the ensemble thickness-weighted averaged (TWA) mean.
However, the inability of the tensor to reconstruct eddy fluxes of QG potential vorticity, which encapsulates the eddy-mean flow interaction, and other active tracers raises the question: To what extent can the diagnosed tensor be applied to inform the parametrization of mesoscale dynamics?



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Ensemble simulation, Mesoscale eddy, eddy diffusivity, Thickness-weighted average


Published: 2022-09-26 02:09

Last Updated: 2023-02-07 07:38

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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