Table of Contents
ISRN Oceanography
Volume 2013, Article ID 208616, 9 pages
Research Article

The Theory and Observational Evidence for Streamlets: A New Velocity-Based Feature Model of Jet Streams and Eddies in the Oceans

Far East Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Automation and Control Processes, Radio Street 5, Vladivostok 690041, Russia

Received 17 August 2012; Accepted 7 September 2012

Academic Editors: J.-C. Poggiale and J. L. Zhou

Copyright © 2013 Alexander V. Kazansky and Antonina A. Shupikova. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study is the verification of a new velocity-based feature model, called streamlets, proposed recently for objective analysis of the three-dimensional velocity structure of jet streams and eddies in the oceans. Streamlets are continuously imbedded shearing vortex solenoids having two forms: cylindrical (for jets) or toroidal (for eddies, considered as self-closed jets). Both these forms comprise stream coordinates based on streamlines of maximum velocity as an axis and vertical velocity cross-sections defined as an oblique cone with elliptical base. Assimilation of velocity measurements is accomplished by fitting this cone to available data using the well-known Nelder-Mead simplex downhill algorithm for finding the minimum of nonlinear parametric functions. Advantages of the streamlet model are discussed emphasizing its functional integrity. The focus is on velocity data assimilation based on coherency of synoptic scale features as opposed to usual pointwise assimilation methods such as averaging or optimal interpolation. Case studies present synoptic features of a different origin and scale including surface-intensified and subsurface baroclinic examples as well as deep barotropic ones demonstrating universality of the model. The theory of streamlets is also addressed in this paper, since it further sustain the streamlet model.