A kinematic analysis of polarized eddy fields using drifter data
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
Copyright 1986 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans (1978–2012)
Volume 91, Issue C4, pages 5094–5102, 15 April 1986
How to Cite
1986), A kinematic analysis of polarized eddy fields using drifter data, J. Geophys. Res., 91(C4), 5094–5102, doi:10.1029/JC091iC04p05094., and (
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 NOV 1985
- Manuscript Received: 8 OCT 1985
A kinematic formalism for the Eulerian and Lagrangian analysis of drifter data is developed for homogeneous, isotropic, two-dimensional flows which exhibit a preferred sense of rotation. Principal results include a new measure of rotation h*, defined from orthogonal velocity components, which is related to the covariance of horizontal divergence and rate of change of vorticity. An analogous Lagrangian correlation hL may indicate a rotational sense opposite to h* due to the preferential sampling by drifters of regions of previous net convergence which are regions of cyclonic vorticity for quasi-geostrophic motions. These kinematic results are illustrated by an analysis of 197 iceberg trajectories from the Labrador shelf, which do indeed show opposite rotational senses for h* and hL.