Date of Award

Fall 1992

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Eileen E. Hofmann

Committee Member

Larry P. Atkinson

Committee Member

John M. Klinck

Committee Member

Dale B. Haidvogel

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35H66


A semi-spectral primitive equation circulation model was used to simulate flow over an isolated gaussian seamount. Model configuration was such that a Taylor Cap was generated in the flow over the seamount. Arrays of 100 drifters were released in the simulated flow fields at several depths (50, 100, 200, and 400 m) both upstream and over the seamount. For several experiments vertical behaviors were imposed on the drifters to simulate zooplankton migration patterns. The drifter simulations extended for three months. Drifter transport patterns were determined by the initial release position of the drifter relative to the Taylor Cap as well as the release depth and the imposed behavior (passive or migratory). Drifters which were trapped in the semi-stationary eddy remained trapped for the duration of the simulation. Drifters which were swept past the seamount had transit times ranging from 19 to 36 days, with the longer transit times associated with the drifters nearest to the Taylor Cap. Decreased transit times were observed for the drifters possessing migratory behavior relative to the passive drifters. Depths of up to 600 m were reached for the passive drifters and up to 1100 m for the deep migrators. Maximum horizontal and vertical velocities obtained for the trapped drifters were found to be to the left of the eddy center (looking downstream). Vertical migration appeared to facilitate entrainment of drifters into the Taylor Cap over the seamount.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).