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A cyclonic gyre in an ice-covered lake

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 15:32 authored by Alexander Forrest, Laval, BE, Pieters, R, Lim, DSS
Observations of a cyclonic gyre in an ice-covered, midsize (, 5 km2), temperate lake are presented. Horizontal and vertical measurements of temperature and electrical conductivity measurements were collected using a conductivity–temperature–depth logger mounted on an autonomous underwater vehicle and additional instrumentation. These measurements revealed a cylindrical density anomaly with a radius of , 110 m extending from the surface to , 14 m depth. The observed radius is smaller than the internal Rossby radius of deformation (, 200 m), which suggests a cyclogeostrophic balance between centripetal, Coriolis, and pressure forces. The maximum azimuthal velocity, calculated assuming this balance, was , 2.1 cm s21 at 6–8 m depth. The Rossby number associated with this velocity was 1.7; this is consistent with the cyclogeostrophic assumption (i.e., Rossby number . 1) and nearly twice that of similar under-ice eddies in the Arctic Ocean. The estimated Ekman spindown timescale is 1.5–15 d, but despite this, the gyre appeared to be relatively unchanged over 6 d of field observations. This persistence implies the gyre was forced over the course of the field study; however, the source of the forcing is unknown. Horizontal temperature transects at and below the bottom of the gyre revealed coherent temperature fluctuations suggestive of vertical transport associated with the gyre.


Publication title

Limnology and Oceanography








Australian Maritime College


Amer Soc Limnology Oceanography

Place of publication

5400 Bosque Blvd, Ste 680, Waco, USA, Tx, 76710-4446

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes

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    University Of Tasmania