Eddy Passages

South Florida Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (SoFLA-HYCOM)
Eddy Passages

Eddies enter the Straits of Florida in the vicinity of the Dry Tortugas and they elongate as they interact with the Florida Keys topography. They often play the role of a reef fish larvae delivery mechanism between the spawning grounds in the Dry Tortugas and the Florida Keys coral reefs, while they can also facilitate nutrient delivery to the shallow oligotrophic reefs from nutrient-rich offshore deep regions.

Sea Surface Height fields computed with SoFLA-HYCOM during an eddy passage through the Straits of Florida from April 8, 2004 to April 23, 2004.
Near-surface temperature and current velocity (every 3d vector plotted; cm/s) during the passage of a mesoscale frontal eddy near the Florida Keys. The model resolves temperature contrasts between cold shallow areas in and around Florida Bay, warm Florida Current, and cool eddy waters that are circulating cyclonically inside the eddy, with clear intrusions toward the Keys passages; some warmer filaments within the eddy can be seen. The eddy was larger before entering the Florida Straits and has begun to elongate as it is squeezed between the FC and the Keys.

Villy Kourafalou — vkourafalou@rsmas.miami.edu