Gulf Stream cold-core rings: Their physics, chemistry, and biology

Richard H. Backus, Glenn R. Flierl, Dana R. Kester, Donald B. Olson, Philip L. Richardson, Andrew C. Vastano, Peter H. Wiebe, John H. Wormuth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

165 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cyclonic Gulf Stream rings are energetic eddies in the warm Sargasso Sea consisting of a ring of Gulf Stream water surrounding a core of cold Slope Water. Initially a ring core has the characteristics of the Slope Water; it is rich in plants, animals, and nutrients. As a ring decays the Slope Water properties of its core are gradually replaced by those of the Sargasso Sea, where standing crops of plants, animals, and nutrients generally are low. Although the decay rate suggests a rather long lifetime (2 to 4 years), the usual death of a ring comes when it rejoins the Gulf Stream after 6 to 12 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1091-1100
Number of pages10
JournalScience
Volume212
Issue number4499
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Backus, R. H., Flierl, G. R., Kester, D. R., Olson, D. B., Richardson, P. L., Vastano, A. C., Wiebe, P. H., & Wormuth, J. H. (1981). Gulf Stream cold-core rings: Their physics, chemistry, and biology. Science, 212(4499), 1091-1100. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.212.4499.1091