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Heat Content Anomaly and Decay of Warm-Core Rings: the Case of the Gulf of Mexico

Abstract : In this study, we harness the 25-year satellite-altimeter record, in concert with a vast array of in situ measurements, to estimate the heat content anomaly of 32 warm-core rings in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). The decay rate of these mesoscale eddies is studied in detail, and it is shown that they release the majority of their heat as they drift in the central GoM (away from topographic obstacles). The surface heat fluxes from the eddies are shown to be small in comparison to the total rate of heat loss from the eddies, suggesting that heat is primarily released toward the surrounding water masses. Integrating the total heat evolution equation over the warm-core rings yields an estimate of their effective lateral diffusivity coefficient. The long-term impact of warm-core rings on heat and salt balance in the GoM is also discussed.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - 5:35:24 PM
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Thomas Meunier, Julio Sheinbaum, Enric Pallàs-Sanz, Miguel Tenreiro, José Ochoa, et al.. Heat Content Anomaly and Decay of Warm-Core Rings: the Case of the Gulf of Mexico. Geophysical Research Letters, 2020, 47, ⟨10.1029/2019GL085600⟩. ⟨insu-03683240⟩

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