Three-dimensional Signature of the Red Sea Eddies and Eddy-induced Transport

by P. Zhan, G. Krokos, D. Guo, I. Hoteit
Article Year: 2019 DOI: 10.1029/2018gl081387


Mesoscale eddies are a dominant feature of the Red Sea circulation, yet their three-dimensional characteristics remain largely unexplored. This hinders our understanding of about eddy-induced transport in the basin. This study analyzes 14-year outputs from a high-resolution eddy-resolving model to investigate the three-dimensional signature of the Red Sea eddies, their contribution to the air-sea flux, and the eddy-induced transport of heat and salt. Eddies are mostly active and energetic in the central and northern Red Sea. Their associated variability explains ∼8% of the total variance in the surface heat flux, and particularly, ∼39% in the salt flux. The asymmetric eddy structure and meridional gradient drive significant transport of heat and salt across the basin. A negative feedback mechanism is identified that relates the eddy intensity and the meridional steepness of the mixed layer depth in the basin.