Filaments (Lyapunov exponents) - Antarctic Circumpolar current

Lyapunov exponents for May 27, 2014 around Antarctica

If you launch two drifting buoys close by, will they travel together along the same path, or not? In fact, it depends where and when you do it. In some areas, they will huddle together, in others they will part way nearly immediately. Filaments materialize these tendencies (colour scale gives the time two adjacent water particles will take before breaking apart). They are computed from altimetry heights using a maximal period of 200 days. Most importantly, they provide with much finer details than the native dataset (from 1/4° to 1/25°), close to what is available from ocean colour or infrared temperature, but even for cloudy skies. Among the possible uses, understanding of phytoplankton distribution, animal behiavor studies, preparing for the SWOT high-resolution altimetry satellite...



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