The near-surface circulation in the Black Sea is studied with the data of 54 satellite-tracked drifters in the period 1999–2003. The drifter trajectories confirm the prevalence of the Rim Current trapped on the continental slope (between water depths of 400 and 1800 m) along the periphery of the basin where sub-inertial speeds can reach 1 m/s. Some drifters were found to complete an entire basin loop with the Rim Current in 90–180 days. Meanders and loops in the tracks prove the existence of mostly anticyclonic circulation features inshore of the Rim Current, including strong signatures of the Batumi and Sevastopol eddies. They also reveal the presence of cyclonic and anticyclonic currents in most areas of the Black Sea. Pseudo-Eulerian statistics (averaged in 50-km bins), that is, mean currents and the corresponding velocity variances, show a strong and highly fluctuating signature of the Rim Current and the enhanced variability associated with the Batumi and Sevastopol eddies. The latter is also collocated with the branching of the Rim Current southwest of the Crimean Peninsula. It is shown that the kinetic energy is mainly in the mean for the Rim Current and in the velocity fluctuations elsewhere. Seasonal variability is also explored. The Rim Current tends to form a stronger single loop trapped on the continental slope in winter/spring, whereas in summer/fall the mean circulation is more meandering, recirculation cells appear in the central areas and the bifurcation southwest of Crimea is enhanced. There is some evidence of the reversal of sense of rotation of the currents in the Batumi Eddy region, changing from mainly anticyclonic in summer/fall to cyclonic in winter/spring. Mean residence times were calculated in the 50-km bins, with values ranging from a few days in the central basin to 8 days in the northwestern coastal area. Globally, the kinetic energy levels were found higher in winter–spring and lower in summer–fall, with a significant maximum in March. Single-particle Lagrangian statistics were computed for the entire basin, for the two extended seasons, and in selected local areas. Velocity variance, diffusivity and Lagrangian integral time scales are generally larger in the zonal direction. Globally, the velocity variance is 174 and 127 cm2/s2 in the zonal and meridional directions, respectively, after the removal of the pseudo-Eulerian mean circulation. For the zonal direction, a diffusivity value of 4.5107 cm2/s and Lagrangian integral time and space scales of 3 days and 34km were found. For the meridional direction, these statistics amount to 4.5107 cm2/s, 1.2 days and 12.2 km. Seasonal and geographical variations of these Lagrangian statistics were also assessed, showing variations between 1.9 (0.9) 107 and 8.3 (2.0) 107 cm2/s for the diffusivity in the zonal (meridional) direction. Integral time and space scales vary between 1and 4.7 days, and 8.8 and 58 km, respectively. Seasonal differences are significant only in the zonal direction, where the

Statistical description of the Black Sea near-surface circulation using drifters in 1999-2003

Poulain P;
2005

Abstract

The near-surface circulation in the Black Sea is studied with the data of 54 satellite-tracked drifters in the period 1999–2003. The drifter trajectories confirm the prevalence of the Rim Current trapped on the continental slope (between water depths of 400 and 1800 m) along the periphery of the basin where sub-inertial speeds can reach 1 m/s. Some drifters were found to complete an entire basin loop with the Rim Current in 90–180 days. Meanders and loops in the tracks prove the existence of mostly anticyclonic circulation features inshore of the Rim Current, including strong signatures of the Batumi and Sevastopol eddies. They also reveal the presence of cyclonic and anticyclonic currents in most areas of the Black Sea. Pseudo-Eulerian statistics (averaged in 50-km bins), that is, mean currents and the corresponding velocity variances, show a strong and highly fluctuating signature of the Rim Current and the enhanced variability associated with the Batumi and Sevastopol eddies. The latter is also collocated with the branching of the Rim Current southwest of the Crimean Peninsula. It is shown that the kinetic energy is mainly in the mean for the Rim Current and in the velocity fluctuations elsewhere. Seasonal variability is also explored. The Rim Current tends to form a stronger single loop trapped on the continental slope in winter/spring, whereas in summer/fall the mean circulation is more meandering, recirculation cells appear in the central areas and the bifurcation southwest of Crimea is enhanced. There is some evidence of the reversal of sense of rotation of the currents in the Batumi Eddy region, changing from mainly anticyclonic in summer/fall to cyclonic in winter/spring. Mean residence times were calculated in the 50-km bins, with values ranging from a few days in the central basin to 8 days in the northwestern coastal area. Globally, the kinetic energy levels were found higher in winter–spring and lower in summer–fall, with a significant maximum in March. Single-particle Lagrangian statistics were computed for the entire basin, for the two extended seasons, and in selected local areas. Velocity variance, diffusivity and Lagrangian integral time scales are generally larger in the zonal direction. Globally, the velocity variance is 174 and 127 cm2/s2 in the zonal and meridional directions, respectively, after the removal of the pseudo-Eulerian mean circulation. For the zonal direction, a diffusivity value of 4.5107 cm2/s and Lagrangian integral time and space scales of 3 days and 34km were found. For the meridional direction, these statistics amount to 4.5107 cm2/s, 1.2 days and 12.2 km. Seasonal and geographical variations of these Lagrangian statistics were also assessed, showing variations between 1.9 (0.9) 107 and 8.3 (2.0) 107 cm2/s for the diffusivity in the zonal (meridional) direction. Integral time and space scales vary between 1and 4.7 days, and 8.8 and 58 km, respectively. Seasonal differences are significant only in the zonal direction, where the
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/4376
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