Scope of activities

It is now widely accepted that mesoscale eddies play a very important role in the ocean dynamics and thermodynamics. The first detailed description of Arctic Ocean eddies was  done  by  Manley  and Hunkins  (1985)  and  pioneering  studies  based  on  idealized  and  realistic modeling was initiated by Mike Spall in the 2000s (i.e. Spall et al., 2008).  

This team focuses on model simulations resolving eddies to enhance our understanding of their impacts not only on water dynamics but also on sea ice processes, freshwater accumulations and release and heat fluxes.

Through a combination of techniques (idealized and realistic modeling, observational and theoretical analyses), we plan to examine the following questions:

  • What can we learn about the system by understanding cyclone/anticyclone asymmetry?
  • How is the eddy field set by complex topographic boundaries and large-scale wind forcing?
  • What is the role of eddies in setting the stratification?
  • How is kinetic energy distributed in the Beaufort Gyre?
  • What are the essential relationships between eddies and sea-ice? (Spin down, preferential formation, sea-ice advection/growth/decay etc.)
  • What are the fundamental differences between mesoscale/submesoscale activity in the Arctic vs. the rest of the world? 

Team leaders

Mary-Louise Timmermans
Yale University


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