Inferring the eddy-induced diffusivity for heat in the surface mixed layer using satellite data

Xiaoming Zhai, Richard J. Greatbatch

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The eddy-induced diffusivity for heat at the surface of the western North Atlantic Ocean is estimated using satellite altimetry and sea surface temperature data. A rotational eddy flux is removed from the total eddy flux following the ideas of Marshall and Shutts (1981). The resulting eddy-induced diffusivity shows considerable spatial variability with a value near 104 m2 s-1 just to the south of the Gulf Stream and values in the range 1–2 × 103 m2 s-1 within the Gulf Stream itself.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • eddy-induced diffusivity
  • surface mixed layer
  • satellite data

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