Interannual Eddy Kinetic Energy Modulations in the Agulhas Return Current


Title: Interannual Eddy Kinetic Energy Modulations in the Agulhas Return Current.

Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 6449-6462, doi: 10.1029/2018JC014333.

Authors: ZHU Y. -N., B. Qiu*, X. -P. Lin, and F. Wang

Abstract: Interannual variability in the mesoscale eddy field in the Agulhas Return Current (ARC) of 32–42°S and 15–35°E is investigated based on satellite altimeter observations and state estimate from the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II from 1993 to 2016. It is found that the interannual modulation of eddy kinetic energy in the ARC region is externally mediated by the wind stress forcing that generates the westward propagating sea surface height anomalies across the South Indian Ocean subtropical gyre. The wind-forced sea surface height anomalies influence the upstream Agulhas Current volume transports. By modulating the intensity of barotropic instability of the ARC mean flow centered around the retroflection region, the Agulhas Current inflow variability leads to the downstream interannual eddy kinetic energy fluctuations in the ARC region.