Eddy formation behind the tropical island of Aldabra

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Oceanic eddy formation behind the tropical island of Aldabra is examined with a one-layer reduced gravity model. Thresholds for flow separation, eddy formation, eddy shedding, and wake instabilities are determined and compared with theory, observations and results of laboratory experiments for both rotating and non-rotating flows. It is shown that non-rotating fluid theory and the Reynolds number are appropriate for describing the occurrence of eddy shedding. For islands at higher lalitudes, thresholds move nearer those found in rotating laboratory experiments Strouhal numbers calculated from the model results agree with those predicted theoretically, confirming that the frequency of eddy shedding does not increase indefinitely with Reynolds number. Both the model results and data from the CZCS archive suggest that eddy shedding and the associated enhanced biological activity (and thus CO2 uptake) are common phenomena for Aldabra and by implication, other oceanic islands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-578
Number of pages24
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996

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