Submesoscale Eddy Structures and Frontal Dynamics in the Barents Sea

O. A. Atadzhanova, A. V. Zimin, E. I. Svergun, A. A. Konik

Research output


Complex analysis of spatial and temporal variability of surface manifestations of the submesoscale eddies in the Barents Sea is carried out based on generalization of a large amount of satellite SARimages of ENVISAT ASAR obtained in course of the warm periods in 2007 and 2011. The relationship between the eddy structures and the frontal dynamics is also quantitatively evaluated. It is found that the submesoscale eddies represent a widespread phenomenon in the sea. They are most often observed to the northwest off the Franz Josef Land, near the eastern coast of the Western Spitsbergen, between the Franz Josef Land and the Novaya Zemlya, in the southwestern part of the sea and near the Kanin Nos peninsula. But their absolute maximum is recorded to the northeast off the Rybachy Peninsula. In both years the eddy activity peak falls on July. Though the diameters of the eddies under study vary from 0.2 to 25 km, those with the diameters 2-4 km (similar to 45%) and of a cyclonic rotation type (similar to 80%) are the most numerous. Being analyzed, the sea surface temperature data permit to reveal significant mesoscale and synoptic dynamics of the frontal zones and the associated frontal boundaries throughout the entire sea in course of the whole warm season. Comparison of the eddy locations with variability of the fronts' positions for each month (based on the data of 2007) shows that the submesoscale structures are often recorded within these regions (up to 50%). The period of the highest eddy activity in July coincides with that of the strongest synoptic and mesoscale dynamics of the fronts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-228
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Oceanography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

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