Irina Rypina (WHOI)
Trajectory encounter volume as a diagnostic of mixing potential in fluid flows.
Fluid parcels can exchange water properties when coming into contact with each other, leading to mixing. The trajectory encounter volume, i.e., the volume of fluid that comes in contact with a reference fluid parcel over some time interval, can be used to measure mixing potential of a flow. Fluid parcels with large encounter volumes have large mixing potential, i.e., opportunity to exchange properties with other parcels, and vice versa. A connection between encounter volume and diffusivity was derived. When applied to the altimetry-based velocities in the Gulf Stream Extension region, the encounter volume illuminated transport properties of the Gulf Stream rings.