Similarities and Contrasts in Time-Mean Striated Surface Tracers in Pacific Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems: The Role of Ocean Currents in Their Generation

Belmadani, Ali ; Auger, Pierre-AmaŽl ; Maximenko, Nikolai ; Gomez, Katherine ; Cravatte, Sophie

Année de publication
<p align=justify>Eastern boundary upwelling systems feature strong zonal gradients of physical and biological properties between cool, productive coastal oceans and warm, oligotrophic subtropical gyres. Zonal currents and jets (striations) are therefore likely to contribute to the transport of water properties between coastal and open oceanic regions. For the first time, multi-sensor satellite data are used to characterize the time-mean signatures of striations in sea surface temperature (SST), salinity (SSS), and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) in subtropical eastern North/South Pacific (ENP/ESP) upwelling systems. In the ENP, tracers exhibit striated patterns extending up to ~2500 km offshore. Striated signals in SST and SSS are highly correlated with quasi-zonal jets, suggesting that these jets contribute to SST/SSS mesoscale patterns via zonal advection. Striated Chl-a anomalies are collocated with sea surface height (SSH) bands, a possible result of mesoscale eddy trains trapping nutrients and forming striated signals. In the ESP, the signature of striations is only found in SST and coincides with the SSH bands, consistently with quasi-zonal jets located outside major zonal tracer gradients. An interplay between large-scale SST/SSS advection by the quasi-zonal jets, mesoscale SST/SSS advection by the large-scale meridional flow, and eddy advection may explain the persistent ENP hydrographic signature of striations. These results underline the importance of quasi-zonal jets for surface tracer structuring at the mesoscale.</p>
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