EGU2020-1459, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The spiralling North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre

Kristofer Döös1, Sara Berglund1, Trevor Mcdougall2, and Sjoerd Groeskamp3
Kristofer Döös et al.
  • 1Stockholm University, Department of Meteorology, Stockholm, Sweden (
  • 2School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (
  • 3Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Texel, The Netherlands (

The North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre is shown to have a downward spiral flow beneath the mixed layer, where the water slowly gets denser, colder and fresher as it spins around the gyre. This path is traced with Lagrangian trajectories as they enter the Gyre in the Gulf Stream from the south until they exit through the North Atlantic Drift. The preliminary results indicate that these warm, saline waters from the south gradually becomes fresher, colder and denser due to mixing with waters originating from the North Atlantic. There are indications that there is also a diapycnal mixing, in the eastern part of the gyre due to mixing with the saline Mediterranean Waters, which would then be crucial for the Atlantic Meridional Overturning. The mixing in the rest of the gyre is dominated by isopycnic mixing, which transforms gradually the water into colder and fresher water as it spins down the gyre into the abyssal ocean before heading north.

How to cite: Döös, K., Berglund, S., Mcdougall, T., and Groeskamp, S.: The spiralling North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1459,, 2019

Comments on the presentation

AC: Author Comment | CC: Community Comment | Report abuse

Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 28 Apr 2020 , no comments