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Summary of my recent readings


  • Lagrangian diagnostics, such as finite-size Lyapunov exponents (FLSE), appear appriopriate in explaining the meso and submesoscale structure of surface chlorophyll (SC) in the open ocean.
  • FLSE is similar to Lyapunov exponents, in that they calculate the time rate at which water parcels drift away to each other. They differ to Lyapunov exponents in that the calculation is made for finite initial and final distance, as well as finite time.
  • The main effects of submesoscale processes on the structure and generation of SC is advection –a direct one–, and vertical upwelling/downwelling of nutrients –an indirect one.


  • Using the velocity output from a high-resolution General Circulation Model (GCM) of the North Pacific subtropical gyre:
    • Only the geostrophic flow has been used. How do the results change when the total flow (including the Ekman flow) is used?
    • Sensitivity of the calculation to the resolution of the sea surface anomaly (SLA).
    • Relationship between vertical velocities and submesoscale processes. If the GCM contains a biogeochemical model, explore the relationship of these two with the SC.
    • Predict the vertical velocity field from Surface Quasi-Geostrophy (SQG) theory (see notes on Klein et al. 2009) in the GCM, compare it to the output and study its relationship with FLSE.
  • Extension of Lehahn et al. (2009): predict SC using a combination of Lagrangian diagnostics, prediction of the vertical velocity field using SQG theory, and a simple biogeochemical model.