Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Meteorology and Physical Oceanography (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Vassiliki H. Kourafalou

Second Committee Member

Brian K. Haus

Third Committee Member

Kevin D. Leaman


Cyclonic oceanic vortices (eddies) ranging from ~10 to 150km in diameter that travel along the Florida Keys are investigated. This study employs hydrodynamic parameters from simulations in a high-resolution (~900m horizontally), three-dimensional (26 vertical levels) HYbrid Coordinates Ocean Model regional application to study coastal to offshore interactions along the Florida Keys. These parameters are compared qualitatively to observations from Chlorophyll-a Satellite (SEAWiFs) and HF Radar (WERA). Further, eddy characteristics along the Florida Keys are determined using the Okubo-Weiss parameter combined with Sea-Surface Height fields for the period 2004- 2008. Additionally, their temporal scales are assessed using spectral time-series analysis via Welch?s Fast Fourier Transform and Wavelet Transforms. Some processes that influence eddy evolution along the Florida Keys are presented in the form of case studies. And finally, the relative contribution of mesoscale and submesoscale eddies to the upwelling along the Florida Keys is assessed, supporting the argument that these features contribute to produce water exchanges between the offshore flow and the coastal areas.


Okubo-Weiss Parameter; Wavelets; Upwelling; Ocean Vortices; HYCOM; Numerical Modeling; Coastal Oceanography