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Particle trapping by a vortex off Western Australia

Waite, A.M., Feng, M., Picheral, M., Gorsky, G., Holliday, D., Beckley, L.E., Thompson, P.A., Pesant, S., Paterson, H.L., Duarte, C.M. and Ahusti, S. (2007) Particle trapping by a vortex off Western Australia. In: ASLO 2007 Aquatic Sciences Meeting, 4 - 9 February, Santa Fe, USA.


The dynamics of mesoscale eddies of the Leeuwin Current off Western Australia (WA) are critical for regional fisheries. We spent a month documenting the dynamics of a large mesoscale eddy accelerating off WA as it formed. The vortex trapped coastal organisms including fish larvae and plankton, and impacted nutrient fluxes and primary productivity. Eddies have been shown to transport a substantial fraction of the heat and momentum flux of the Leeuwin Current, and may be crucial transporters of productive coastal water into the open ocean. Here we hypothesize that they may transport particulte carbon, and possibly dissolved and/or volatile organic carbon, up to 1000 m below the surface, contributing substantially to vertical fluxes in the ocean.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
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