Journal of Marine Sciences ›› 2023, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (2): 45-60.DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1001-909X.2023.02.004

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Characteristics and mechanism of ocean subsurface coherent eddies: Problems and progress

GE Yuyu(), LIAO Guanghong()   

  1. College of Oceanography, Hohai University, Nanjing 210013, China
  • Received:2022-09-21 Revised:2022-11-22 Online:2023-06-15 Published:2023-07-27


With the advancement of observation technology and the improvement of ocean numerical simulation capabilities, some stable subsurface coherent vortices have been widely observed in the ocean, which far from the formation source area. These vortices possess distinctive dynamic characteristics, such as a low potential vorticity center, lens-like structure of isopycnals, weak stratification, and anomalous temperature, salinity, or other tracer properties compared to the surrounding water mass. Their core flow is relatively stronger. These subsurface coherent vortices significantly impact ocean water mass transport, thermohaline circulation and marine biological environment. This paper comprehensively summarizes researches on subsurface coherent vortices in the ocean, including their structure, hydrological characteristics, identifying methods, global distribution, dynamic mechanisms and their important effects on ocean environment. Furthermore, the research perspectives are discussed, such as the difficulties in the research and the issues that need to be solved to comprehensively understand subsurface coherent vortices in the ocean.

Key words: ocean subsurface, subsurface coherent vortex, dynamic characteristics and mechanism

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