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Frontogenesis and Subduction at the Alboran Fronts

Amala Mahadevan, Mara Freilich, Mathieu Dever


The goals of Calypso are to unravel the three-dimensional coherent pathways by which water carrying tracers and drifting objects is transported from the surface ocean to depths below the mixed layer. The vertical movement of water from the surface to depth across the base of the mixed layer has implications for the transport of properties, gases, biogeochemistry, and the fate of drifting particles and objects. But, vertical velocities are very weak (about a thousand times smaller than horizontal velocities) and difficult to detect. This proposal will use modeling and observationally motivated process studies to address the following questions:

  • How are water and properties from the surface boundary layer exported to depth?
  • What coherent pathways act as conduits for exchange?
  • What dynamics shapes these pathways? What are the Lagrangian trajectories, what are the time and space scales of subduction and where does the water end up?