Single super-vortex as a proxy for ocean surface flow fields

Imre M. Jánosi, Miklós Vincze, Gábor Tóth, Jason A.C. Gallas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Empirical flow field data evaluation in a well-studied ocean region along the US west coast revealed a surprisingly strong relationship between the surface integrals of kinetic energy and enstrophy (squared vorticity). This relationship defines a single isolated Gaussian super-vortex, whose fitted size parameter is related to the mean eddy size, and the square of the fitted height parameter is proportional to the sum of the square of all individual eddy amplitudes obtained by standard vortex census. This finding allows very effective coarse-grained eddy statistics with minimal computational efforts. As an illustrative example, the westward drift velocity of eddies is determined from a simple cross-correlation analysis of kinetic energy integrals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-949
Number of pages9
JournalOcean Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 17 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Palaeontology

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