Dispersion characteristics in the Western Mediterranean are analyzed using data from Coastal Ocean Dynamics Experiment (CODE) and Surface Velocity Program (SVP) surface drifters deployed in the period 1986–2017. Results are presented in terms of absolute dispersion A2 (mean-squared displacement of drifter individuals) and of relative dispersion (D2; mean square separation distance of drifter pairs). Moreover, the dispersion characteristics are estimated for different initial separation distances (D0) between particles: smaller, larger, or comparable with the internal Rossby radius of deformation. Results show the presence of a quasiballistic regime for absolute dispersion at small time scales and the nonlocal relative dispersion regime related to the submesoscale activities for scales smaller than the internal Rossby radius. At intermediate times, two anomalous absolute dispersion regimes (elliptic and hyperbolic regimes) related with the flow topology are observed, although the relative dispersion involves the Richardson and shear/ballistic regimes only for D0 smaller than the Rossby radius. During the subsequent 20–30 days, absolute dispersion shows quasirandom walk regime and relative dispersion follows the diffusive regime for scales larger than 100 km for which pair velocities are uncorrelated.
Bouzaiene, Maher, Milena Menna, Pierre-Marie Poulain, and Dalila Elhmaidi. 2018. "Lagrangian dispersion characteristics in the Western Mediterranean." Journal of Marine Research 76, (5). https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/journal_of_marine_research/460