Vertical eddy energy fluxes in the North Atlantic subtropical and subpolar gyres

X. Zhai, D.P. Marshall

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Eddy energy generation and energy fluxes are examined in a realistic eddy-resolving model of the North Atlantic. Over 80% of the wind energy input is found to be released by the generation of eddies through baroclinic instability. The eddy energy generation is located near the surface in the subtropical gyre but deeper down in the subpolar gyre. To reconcile the mismatch between the depth of eddy energy production and the vertical structure of the horizontal dispersion of eddy energy, the vertical eddy energy flux is downward in the subtropical gyre and upward in the subpolar gyre.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Eddies
  • Instability
  • Ocean dynamics

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