Abstract

Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 42 (4) October 2014 (SPECIAL ISSUE)
Intrathermocline eddies at the Juan Fernández Archipelago, southeastern Pacific Ocean.
Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) results, combined with chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and satellite altimetry information as well as information from oceanographic cruises were analyzed to identify interactions between intrathermocline eddies (ITEs) and the Juan Fernández Archipelago (JFA), and discuss their potential impact on surface Chl-a concentrations. The JFA is located off the coast of central Chile (33°S), and is composed of three main islands: Robinson Crusoe (RC), Alejandro Selkirk (AS) and Santa Clara (SC). Results indicate that the surface and subsurface anticyclonic eddies that interact with the JFA are formed primarily within the coastal transition zone between 33° and 39°S. ITEs are present within the JFA region with a semiannual frequency, mainly during the austral autumn, and have a weak surface expression in relation to the adjacent surface eddies, with a slow displacement (1.16 to 1.4 km d-1) in a northwest direction and a coherent structure for periods of ≥1 year. During the ITEs’ interaction with RC-SC islands and an adjacent seamount, a slight (prominent) thermocline deflection of the upper limit (lower) was observed. The horizontal extent (~70-100 km) was greater than the internal Rossby deformation radius and the average vertical extent was ~400 m. The interaction between the weak surface expression of ITEs, identified with satellite altimetry, and the JFA persisted during autumn for nine weeks until reaching the winter period. Approximately one month after the beginning of the interaction between ITEs and the islands, increases in surface Chl-a associated with the eddy were observed, with values up to three times higher than adjacent oceanic waters.
Author: Isabel Andrade, Samuel Hormazábal & Vincent Combes

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