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2021CYPROSS - Barotropic Rossby waves in a homogeneous and a nearly stratified rotating flow: the case of the Cyprus Eddy in the Eastern Mediterranean

The laboratory experiment at the Coriolis Platform is motivated by previous oceanographic studies in the Levantine Basin. Field campaigns, in-situ measurements and numerical simulations revealed the presence of an anticyclonic eddy called Cyprus eddy which forms south of the island of Cyprus and could have a life also of two years. Its center varies between 32° - 42.5°E and the radius is approximately 50 km. Gliders observations conducted in 2017 by the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS) group (Mauri et al., 2019) along with other previous studies (Zodiatis et al., 2005; Bosse et al., 2016) have shown that the Cyprus eddy extends from the surface up to 800 m of depth and locates above the Eratosthenes seamount whose summit depth is 700 m over a water depth of 2500 m. On the right side of the Cyprus eddy, a smaller cyclonic eddy (named South Shikmona Eddy - SSE) and an anticyclonic eddy (named North Shikmona Eddy -NSE) also appears.

According to the analytical solution of McCartney 1975, on a beta plane, when an eastward flow impinges over an isolated bump, an anticyclonic Taylor column will form over it and lee waves behind. If the height of the obstacle is tall enough, additional cyclonic end anticyclonic eddies will from in wake downstream. For highly stratified flow, the solution gives bottom trapped waves (no wave-solution is given at the surface) while, for moderate stratified fluid the disturbances weaken towards the surface.

The aim of the laboratory experiment is to prove that the Cyprus eddy observed in the Levantine Basin is a Taylor column trapped over the Eratosthenes seamount and it is generated by the eastward flow. Additionally, the SSE and NSE are associated to the wake that forms behind the Cyprus eddy.

Project Leader: Annunziata PIRRO, PhD, INOGS, Trieste, Italy

- Elena MAURI, PhD, INOGS, Trieste, Italy
- Pierre Marie POULAIN, OGS, CMRE, Italy
- Eletta NEGRETTI, LEGI, Grenoble
- Samuel VIBOUD, LEGI, Grenoble
- Thomas VALRAN, LEGI, Grenoble