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The Energy Decay of Warm-core Eddies in the Gulf of Mexico
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  • Thomas Meunier,
  • Amy S Bower,
  • Paula Pérez-Brunius,
  • Federico Graef
Thomas Meunier
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Amy S Bower
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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Paula Pérez-Brunius
Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education
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Federico Graef
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The Gulf of Mexico (GoM) is home to some of the most energetic eddies in the ocean. They detach from the Loop-Current and drift through the basin, transporting large amounts of heat and salt. These eddies, known as Loop Current rings (LCRs) have a crucial role in the GoM’s dynamics and in the weather of the eastern US, and this role is largely conditioned by their longevity and decay properties. Here, we use an empirical method to estimate the energy evolution of all LCRs detached since 1993. We found that, contrary to the commonly accepted idea that LCRs conserve their energy as they drift through the GoM and decay suddenly against the western platform, LCRs’ energy decays faster in the eastern basin, and they typically lose three-quarter of their energy before encountering the continental shelf. We also show that wind-current feedback largely contributes to the energy decay and conversion.
15 Sep 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
17 Oct 2023Published in ESS Open Archive