Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Maurizi A., Griffa A., Poulain P., Tampieri F. Lagrangian turbulence in the Adriatic Sea as computed from drifter data: Effects of inhomogeneity and nonstationarity. In: Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, vol. 109 article n. C04010. American Geophysical Union, 2004.
The properties of mesoscale Lagrangian turbulence in the Adriatic Sea are studied from a drifter data set spanning 1990 - 1999, focusing on the role of inhomogeneity and nonstationarity. A preliminary study is performed on the dependence of the turbulent velocity statistics on bin averaging, and a preferential bin scale of 0.25degrees is chosen. Comparison with independent estimates obtained using an optimized spline technique confirms this choice. Three main regions are identified where the velocity statistics are approximately homogeneous: the two boundary currents, West ( East) Adriatic Current, WAC (EAC), and the southern central gyre, CG. The CG region is found to be characterized by symmetric probability density function of velocity, approximately exponential autocorrelations, and well-defined integral quantities such as diffusivity and timescale. The boundary regions, instead, are significantly asymmetric, with skewness indicating preferential events in the direction of the mean flow. The autocorrelation in the along mean flow direction is characterized by two timescales, with a secondary exponential with slow decay time of approximate to 11 - 12 days particularly evident in the EAC region. Seasonal partitioning of the data shows that this secondary scale is especially prominent in the summer- fall season. Possible sampling issues as well as physical explanations for the secondary scale are discussed. Physical mechanisms include low-frequency fluctuations of forcings and mean flow curvature inducing fluctuations in the particle trajectories. Consequences of the results for transport modeling in the Adriatic Sea are discussed.
DOI: 10.1029/2003JC002119
Subject Lagrangian turbulence
Adriatic Sea

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