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Assessment of relative dispersion in the Gulf of Tonkin using numerical modeling and HF radar observations of surface currents

Abstract : Particle pair statistics from synthetic drifter trajectories reconstructed from realistic, high-resolution numerical simulations (SYMPHONIE model) and HF radar velocity measurements are used to investigate the dispersion properties in the Gulf of Tonkin (GoT). This study takes an approach based on two-particles statistics providing the relative dispersion, relative diffusivity and Finite Size Lyapunov Exponent (FSLE) estimates. In the GoT, the relative dispersion follows the predictions from the theory of two-dimensional turbulence with two inertial subranges identified in the kinetic energy spectrum with the spectral slopes −5/3 and −3. The time evolution of dispersion shows an exponential growth during 5–8 days, followed by a power law regime during the next 6–20 days. Fixed-length indicators from the relative diffusivity and the FSLE reveal a local dispersion at large and intermediate scales (above Rossby radius of deformation) and non-local dispersion in sub-mesoscale range (below Rossby radius of deformation). The effect of river runoff on the local hydrodynamics and dispersion processes is assessed using the numerical model simulations without river discharge. The results show that in the model, the river plume, when present, highly impacts the Lagrangian statistics. High gradients of buoyancy reinforce the sub-mesoscale circulation in a large region along the Vietnamese coast and modify the scales and intensity of turbulent dispersion. However, a clear change of dispersion regime in the sub-mesoscale range is not identified, suggesting that the mesoscale circulation in the GoT largely governs particle spreading even at small scale.
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Contributor : Nadia Ayoub Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, November 25, 2022 - 10:05:36 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 12:42:13 PM



Manh Cuong Tran, Alexei Sentchev, Stefano Berti, Nadia Ayoub, Tung Nguyen-Duy, et al.. Assessment of relative dispersion in the Gulf of Tonkin using numerical modeling and HF radar observations of surface currents. Continental Shelf Research, 2022, 245, pp.104784. ⟨10.1016/j.csr.2022.104784⟩. ⟨hal-03871227⟩



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