The warm water inflow into the western tropical Atlantic boundary regime, spring 1994.

Schott, Friedrich A., Stramma, Lothar and Fischer, Jürgen (1995) The warm water inflow into the western tropical Atlantic boundary regime, spring 1994. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 100 (C12). pp. 24745-24760. DOI 10.1029/95JC02803.

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Abstract

During March 1994 a survey of the western boundary of the tropical Atlantic, between 10 degrees N and 10 degrees S, was carried out by conductivity-temperature-depth and current profiling using shipboard and lowered acoustic Doppler current profilers. In the near-surface layer, above sigma. = 24.5, the inflow into the boundary regime came dominantly from low latitudes; out of the 14 Sv that crossed the equator in the upper part of the North Brazil Current (NBC), only 2 Sv originated from south of 5 degrees S, while 12 Sv came in from the east at 1 degrees-5 degrees S with the South Equatorial Current (SEC). After crossing the equator near 44 degrees W, only a minor fraction of the near-surface NBC retroflected eastward, while a net through flow of about 12 Sv above sigma. = 24.5 continued northwestward along the boundary, By contrast, in the isopycnal range sigma. = 24.5-26.8 encompassing the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC), the source waters of the equatorial circulation were dominantly of higher-latitude South Atlantic origin. While only 3 Sv of eastern equatorial water entered the region through the SEC at 3 degrees-5 degrees S, there was an inflow of 10 Sv of South Atlantic water in the North Brazil Undercurrent (NBUC) along the South American coast that originated south of 10 degrees S, The transport of 14 Sv arriving at the equator along the boundary in the undercurrent layer was almost entirely retroflected into the EUC with only marginal northern water additions along its path to 35 degrees W. The off-equatorial undercurrents in the upper thermocline, the South and North Equatorial Undercurrents carried only small transports across 35 degrees W, of 5 Sv and 3 Sv, respectively, dominantly supplied out of SEC recirculation rather than out of the boundary current. Still deeper, three zonal undercurrents were observed: the westward-flowing Equatorial Intermediate Current (EIC) in the depth range 200-900 m below the EUC, and two off-equatorial eastward undercurrents, the Northern and Southern Intermediate Countercurrents (NICC, SICC) at 400-1000 m and 1 degrees-3 degrees latitude. In the lower part of the NBUC there was an Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) inflow along the coast of 6 Sv, and there was a clear connection at the AAIW level to the SICC by low salinities and high oxygens and a weaker suggestion also that some supply of the NICC might be through AAIW out of the deep NBUC.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/95JC02803
ISSN: 2169-9275
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2016 11:03
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2017 13:48
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/32123

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