Evidence of Jet-Scale Overturning Ocean Circulations in Argo Float Trajectories

Qian Li, Sukyoung Lee, Matthew Mazloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In a recent study, it was proposed that Reynolds stress by oceanic mesoscale eddies not only drives jets such as Subantarctic Front but also can force overturning circulations that are composed of rising motion on the poleward flank and sinking motion on the equatorward flank of the jets. In that study, the thermally indirect, jet-scale overturning circulations (JSOCs) were detected in an eddy-resolving model simulation of the Southern Ocean. Here observational evidence of the existence of JSOCs is demonstrated by showing that the Argo floats tend to drift poleward across the jet with the maximum drift speed coinciding with the corresponding jet maximum. This finding has an implication for the observed deep mixed layer because it was previously shown that in the model the JSOCs play a key role in preconditioning the formation of a deep and narrow mixed layer at just ~1° north of the Subantarctic Front.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11,866-11,874
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 16 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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