Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 253–266 | Cite as

Physical mechanisms of submesoscale eddies generation: evidences from laboratory modeling and satellite data in the Black Sea

  • Andrey ZatsepinEmail author
  • Arseny Kubryakov
  • Anna Aleskerova
  • Dmitry Elkin
  • Olga Kukleva
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on the International Conference “Vortices and coherent structures: from ocean to microfluids”, Vladivostok, Russia, 28-31 August 2017


The observed evidence of the implementation of three different mechanisms of the submesoscale eddies generation in the Black Sea previously studied by the field research and laboratory modeling is presented. These mechanisms are the following: (1) horizontal shear instability of the surface current; (2) flow separation behind capes and peninsulas; (3) spatial heterogeneity of the wind blowing from the coast to the sea. The first mechanism is implemented both in the open sea and in the coastal zone. The other two operate in the coastal zone. It was found that with the implementation of each from these mechanisms an asymmetry in the formation of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies arises. Particularly, as a result of the flow shear instability, cyclonic vortices are usually observed, anticyclones are formed only in the case of rather weak anticyclonic velocity shear. Due to the alongshore current separation behind capes and peninsulas, the anticyclonic eddies and even the chains of this kind of eddies are predominantly formed. The spatially inhomogeneous wind from the coast to the sea generates eddy dipoles with dominating anticyclones. The joint analysis of surface geostrophic currents calculated using satellite altimetry data, the wind velocity field over the sea (reanalysis data), and satellite images in the optical spectral range for various regions of the Black Sea confirmed the main results of laboratory experiments and field research.


Black Sea; submesoscale eddies Physical mechanisms Asymmetry in cyclone/anticyclone generation 


Funding information

This paper was prepared in the framework of the state assignment of FASO Russia (theme no. 0149-2018-0003) and supported in part by the RFBR grant 17-05-00799 a. The laboratory modeling was performed with the support of the RSF grant 14-50-00095. Detection of submesoscale eddies from satellite data and their analysis was supported by the RFBR grant 16-05-00264a.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrey Zatsepin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Arseny Kubryakov
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anna Aleskerova
    • 2
  • Dmitry Elkin
    • 1
  • Olga Kukleva
    • 1
  1. 1.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Marine Hydrophysical Institute Russian Academy of SciencesSevastopolRussia

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