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Peter Gaube

Senior Oceanographer






B.A. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2003

M.S. Physical Oceanography, Nova Southeastern University, 2007

Ph.D. Oceanography, Oregon State University, 2012

Peter Gaube's Website



2000-present and while at APL-UW

Subregional characterization of mesoscale eddies across the Brazil–Malvinas Confluence

Mason, E., A. Pascual, P. Gaube, S. Ruiz, J.L. Pelegrí, and A. Delepoulle, "Subregional characterization of mesoscale eddies across the Brazil–Malvinas Confluence," J. Geophys. Res., 122, 3329-3357, doi:10.1002/2016JC012611, 2017.

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1 Apr 2017

Horizontal and vertical motions associated with coherent mesoscale structures, including eddies and meanders, are responsible for significant global transports of many properties, including heat and mass. Mesoscale vertical fluxes also influence upper ocean biological productivity by mediating the supply of nutrients into the euphotic layer, with potential impacts on the global carbon cycle. The Brazil-Malvinas Confluence (BMC) is a western boundary current region in the South Atlantic with intense mesoscale activity. This region has an active role in the genesis and transformation of water masses and thus is a critical component of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. The collision between the Malvinas and Brazil Currents over the Patagonian shelf/slope creates an energetic front that translates offshore to form a vigorous eddy field. Recent improvements in gridded altimetric sea level anomaly fields allow us to track BMC mesoscale eddies with high spatial and temporal resolutions using an automated eddy tracker. We characterize the eddies across fourteen 5° × 5° subregions. Eddy-centric composites of tracers and geostrophic currents diagnosed from a global reanalysis of surface and in situ data reveal substantial subregional heterogeneity. The in situ data are also used to compute the evolving quasi-geostrophic vertical velocity (QG-ω) associated with each instantaneous eddy instance. The QG-ω eddy composites have the expected dipole patterns of alternating upwelling/downwelling, however, the magnitude and sign of azimuthally averaged vertical velocity varies among subregions. Maximum eddy values are found near fronts and sharp topographic gradients. In comparison with regional eddy composites, subregional composites provide refined information about mesoscale eddy heterogeneity.

The influence of Gulf Stream eddies and meanders on near-surface chlorophyll

Gaube, P., and D.J. McGillicuddy Jr., "The influence of Gulf Stream eddies and meanders on near-surface chlorophyll," Deep Sea Res. 1, 122, 1-16, doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2017.02.006, 2017.

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1 Apr 2017


• Eddies and meanders of the Gulf Stream entrain and trap water with distinct near-surface chlorophyll concentration.

• Following formation, chlorophyll in anticyclonic eddies is observed to increase.

• The positive chlorophyll trend in anticyclonic eddies is reproduced in a simulation including eddy-induced Ekman pumping.

The use of mesoscale eddies by juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the southwestern Atlantic

Gaube, P., C. Barceló, D. J. McGillicuddy Jr., A. Domingo, P. Miller, B. Giffoni, N. Marcovaldi, and Y. Swimmer, "The use of mesoscale eddies by juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the southwestern Atlantic," Plos One, 12, e0172839, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0172839, 2017.

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1 Mar 2017

Marine animals, such as turtles, seabirds and pelagic fishes, are observed to travel and congregate around eddies in the open ocean. Mesoscale eddies, large swirling ocean vortices with radius scales of approximately 50–100 km, provide environmental variability that can structure these populations. In this study, we investigate the use of mesoscale eddies by 24 individual juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region. The influence of eddies on turtles is assessed by collocating the turtle trajectories to the tracks of mesoscale eddies identified in maps of sea level anomaly. Juvenile loggerhead sea turtles are significantly more likely to be located in the interiors of anticyclones in this region. The distribution of surface drifters in eddy interiors reveals no significant association with the interiors of cyclones or anticyclones, suggesting higher prevalence of turtles in anticyclones is a result of their behavior. In the southern portion of the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region, turtle swimming speed is significantly slower in the interiors of anticyclones, when compared to the periphery, suggesting that these turtles are possibly feeding on prey items associated with anomalously low near-surface chlorophyll concentrations observed in those features.

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center