Dipole vortices in the Great Australian Bight

George R. Cresswell, Lars C. Lund-Hansen, Morten Holtegaard Nielsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Shipboard measurements from late 2006 made by the Danish Galathea 3 Expedition and satellite sea surface temperature images revealed a chain of cool and warm mushroom' dipole vortices that mixed warm, salty, oxygen-poor waters on and near the continental shelf of the Great Australian Bight (GAB) with cooler, fresher, oxygen-rich waters offshore. The alternating jets' flowing into the mushrooms were directed mainly northwards and southwards and differed in temperature by only 1.5 degrees C; however, the salinity difference was as much as 0.5, and therefore quite large. The GAB waters were slightly denser than the cooler offshore waters. The field of dipoles evolved and distorted, but appeared to drift westwards at 5km day-1 over two weeks, and one new mushroom carried GAB water southwards at 7km day(-1). Other features encountered between Cape Leeuwin and Tasmania included the Leeuwin Current, the South Australian Current, the Flinders Current and the waters of Bass Strait.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)135-144
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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