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Trajectories of Mesoscale Eddies in Northwestern Region of the Hawaiian Islands Derived from Sea Surface Height Altimetry Data

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Title:Trajectories of Mesoscale Eddies in Northwestern Region of the Hawaiian Islands Derived from Sea Surface Height Altimetry Data
Authors:Nakagawa, Kazuhiro
Contributors:Qiu, Bo (advisor)
Oceanography (department)
Global Environmental Science (department)
Keywords:physical oceanography
Date Issued:2004
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Place of Publication:Honolulu
Abstract:The structures of warm-core eddies and cold-core eddies were studied in the
Northwestern region of the Hawaiian Islands. The study area extends from 180 ˚ W to
140 ˚ W in the zonal band 21˚N to 35˚ N. The variability of the sea surface height
(SSH) was derived from the combined mission of TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS
altimeters during the period between October 1992 and January 2004 and used to
visualize the natures of several eddies generated in this region. Warm-core and coldcore eddies have been traced on maps with the altimeter observations every seven
days. Emphasis was placed on the investigation of the spatial and temporal contexts
for warm-core and cold-core eddies. It was found that both the warm and cold-core
eddies propagated westward in the study area, and the propagation speed has been
estimated as 3.25 cm/s. It was also discovered that the warm-core and cold-core
eddies were generated by the baroclinic instability in the Subtropical Frontal Zone
(STFZ), which is located at 28˚ to 30˚N, and that most of the eddies were observed to
disappear along the islands. Eddies were affected by bottom topography in the
vicinity of Hawaiian Ridge. In particular, the sea floor shallower than the depth of
1000 meters blocked mesoscale eddies. Finally, the Eddy Kinetic Energy (EKE),
horizontal temperature distribution within warm-core eddy and cold-core eddy, and
the relationship between eddy propagation speed and latitude were all investigated.
Pages/Duration:49 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Rights Holder:Nakagawa, Kazuhiro
Appears in Collections: Global Environmental Science (GES)

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