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Scientific Reports

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Abstract/ Summary

Despite numerous surface eddies are observed in the ocean, deep eddies (a type of eddies which have no footprints at the sea surface) are much less reported in the literature due to the scarcity of their observation. In this letter, from recently collected current and temperature data by mooring arrays, a deep energetic and baroclinic eddy is detected in the northwestern South China Sea (SCS) with its intensity, size, polarity and structure being characterized. It remarkably deepens isotherm at deep layers by the amplitude of ~120 m and induces a maximal velocity amplitude about 0.18 m/s, which is far larger than the median velocity (0.02 m/s). The deep eddy is generated in a wake when a steering flow in the upper layer passes a seamount, induced by a surface cyclonic eddy. More observations suggest that the deep eddy should not be an episode in the area. Deep eddies significantly increase the velocity intensity and enhance the mixing in the deep ocean, also have potential implication for deep-sea sediments transport.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Chen, G. et al. Observed deep energetic eddies by seamount wake. Sci. Rep. 5, 17416; doi: 10.1038/srep17416 (2015).

Publisher Statement

D.W. and H.X. appreciate supports from National Natural Science Foundation of China (91228202), the “Strategic Priority Research Program” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA11010302), and the CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams, and the External Cooperation Program of BIC, CAS (GJHZ201319). G.C. is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (41476011) and Pearl River S&T Nova Program of Guangzhou (2013J2200087). C.D. appreciates the supports from NSFC (41476022, 41490643 and 91128204), Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (2013r121 and 2014r072), Program for Innovation Research and Entrepreneurship team in Jiangsu Province, National 973 Program of China (2014CB745000), and National Programme on Global Change and Air-Air-Sea Interactionc(GASI-03-IPOVAI-05). Y.S. and X.C. are supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (41476012, 41206008 and 41476014).




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