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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 21, issue 3
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 21, 677–689, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-21-677-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Nonlinear dynamics in oceanic and atmospheric flows: theory...

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 21, 677–689, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-21-677-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 18 Jun 2014

Research article | 18 Jun 2014

Lagrangian descriptors and the assessment of the predictive capacity of oceanic data sets

C. Mendoza1, A. M. Mancho2, and S. Wiggins3 C. Mendoza et al.
  • 1ETSI Navales, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Av. Arco de la Victoria 4, 28040 Madrid, Spain
  • 2Instituto de Ciencias Matemáticas, CSIC-UAM-UC3M-UCM, C/ Nicolás Cabrera 15, Campus Cantoblanco UAM, 28049 Madrid, Spain
  • 3School of Mathematics, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TW, UK

Abstract. We use a recently developed Lagrangian transport tool, Lagrangian descriptors, to compare the transport properties of data distributed by AVISO and numerical simulations obtained from the HYCOM model in the Yucatán–Florida current system. Our data correspond to the months from June through August 2010. Structures obtained from HYCOM are noisier than those from AVISO; however, both AVISO and HYCOM succeed in identifying Lagrangian structures that influence the paths of drifters, such as eddies, currents, lobes, etc. We find evidence in which AVISO gives the positions of important hyperbolic trajectories in a manner that is inconsistent with the trajectories of the drifters, while for the same examples HYCOM succeeds to this end.

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