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Physical and chemical signatures of a developing anticyclonic eddy in the Leeuwin Current, eastern Indian Ocean

Paterson, H.L., Feng, M., Waite, A.M., Gomis, D., Beckley, L.E., Holliday, D. and Thompson, P.A. (2008) Physical and chemical signatures of a developing anticyclonic eddy in the Leeuwin Current, eastern Indian Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans, 113 (7).

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A multidisciplinary cruise aboard the R/V Southern Surveyor was conducted in May 2006 to sample a developing anticyclonic eddy of the Leeuwin Current off Western Australia. The eddy formed from a meander of the Leeuwin Current in mid-April 2006 and remained attached to the current until mid-August. In this study, a combination of satellite data (altimeter, sea surface temperature, and chlorophyll a) and shipboard measurements (acoustic Doppler current profiler and conductivity-temperature-depth) were used to characterize the physical and chemical signatures of the eddy. The temperature-salinity properties of the mixed layer waters within the anticyclonic eddy and on the shelf were both connected to that of the Leeuwin Current, indicating the water mass in the eddy is mainly derived from the Leeuwin Current and the modified Leeuwin Current water on the shelf. Above the salinity maximum near the eddy center, there was a regionally significant concentration of nitrate (>0.9 μmol L-1), and the maximum (2 μmol L-1) was at 150 in depth, below the photic zone. Nitrification within the eddy and/or local upwelling due to the forming eddy could be responsible for this high concentration of nitrate near the eddy center which potentially makes the eddy a relatively productive feature in the Leeuwin Current.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Copyright: 2008 by the American Geophysical Union
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