Interaction of North Brazil Current rings with the Lesser Antilles Arc and Barbados Island: laboratory experiments and observations
The interaction of North Brazil Current (NBC) rings with the Lesser Antilles Arc (LAA) and the Barbados Island (BI) is addressed by experimental modeling and observations. Our results compare well with previous experimental results and numerical simulations. Several sizes, intensities and two different vorticity profiles (non-isolated and initially isolated vortices) were tested. Three regimes were found namely: (1) the vortex surrounds the BI and its translational motion (TM) stops North of BI; (2) the vortex passes through the corridor between the LAA and the BI by reducing its size; and (3) The vortex stopped at the entrance to the corridor South of the BI. Isolated vortices were prone to stopped North of the BI. Apparently the intensity in the outer vorticity ring has an influence on the fate of the NBC ring. Non-isolated vortices can also stop its TM North of the BI because when in \(\beta\) plane they develop an outer ring similar to the isolated vortices. From these results we conclude that intense and big NBC rings are likely to stop its TM North of the BI. Medium and moderate vortices stops its TM South of the BI and they reduce their size until they are able to pass through the corridor between the LAA and the BI. Mild vortices of all sizes stop South of the corridor, close to the BI and the LAA. Drifter trajectories and Sea Surface Height altimetry confirm the results.
KeywordsNBC rings Lesser Antilles Arc Isolated vortex Non-isolated vortex Rotating table
The experiments were performed at the rotating table of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory of CUCEI, Universidad de Guadalajara, México. HJV was supported by the Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-15-1-2285. The authors gratefully acknowledge the comments and discussions with Patrice Le Gal on early versions of the manuscript and the three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions to improve the quality of this manuscript. The altimeter products were produced by Ssalto/Duacs and distributed by Aviso, with support from CNES (http://www.aviso.altimetry.fr/duacs/). We thank the NOAA’s Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) team for buoys data.
- 1.Fuglister FC (1972) Cyclonic rings formed by the golf stream, 1965–1966. in studies of physical oceanography. In: Studies in Physical Oceanography: A Tribute to Georg Wüst on his 80th Birthday (ed. A. L. Gordon) (1):137–168Google Scholar
- 3.Wilson DW, Johns WE, Garzoli SL (2002) Velocity structure of North Brazil Current rings. Geophys Res Lett 29(8):1273Google Scholar
- 4.Castelão GP, Johns WE (2011) Sea surface structure of North Brazil Current rings derived from shipboard and moored acoustic Doppler current profiler observations. J Geophys Res 116:C01010Google Scholar
- 8.Goni GJ, Johns WE (2003) Synoptic study of worm rings in the North Brazil current retroflection region using satellite altimetry. In: Goni GJ, Malanotte-Rizzoli P (eds) Interhemispheric water exchange in the Atlantic Ocean. Elsevier Ocean Series, 335–356Google Scholar
- 15.Cenedese C (2002) Laboratory experiments on mesoscale vortices colliding with a seamount. J Geophys Res 107(C6)Google Scholar
- 17.Cenedese C, Tanabe A (2008) Laboratory experiments on mesoscale vortices colliding with an island chain. J Geophys Res 113:C04022Google Scholar
- 18.Cruz-Gómez RC (2013) Experimental investigation of the North Brazil Current rings during their interaction with the Lesser Antilles. In: Fluid Dynamics in Physics, Engineering and Environmental Applications, Environmental Science and Engineering, edited by Jaime Klapp, Abraham Medina, Anne Cros, Carlos A. Vargas. Springer, Berlin. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27723-8-4