Upper equatorial Atlantic variability during 2002 and 2005 associated with equatorial Kelvin waves.

Hormann, Verena and Brandt, Peter (2009) Upper equatorial Atlantic variability during 2002 and 2005 associated with equatorial Kelvin waves. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 114 . C03007. DOI 10.1029/2008JC005101.

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On the basis of moored (35 degrees W, 0 degrees and 23 degrees W, 0 degrees) and satellite observations, we contrast the upper equatorial Atlantic variability during 2002 with those during 2005. Inspection of the interannual boreal summer cold tongue variability revealed a warm (cold) event in 2002 (2005), with relaxed (intensified) winds in the west and the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) embedded in a shallower (deeper) thermocline at 23 degrees W. During both years, 2002 and 2005, equatorial Kelvin waves are present in moored observations as 20 degrees C isotherm depth anomalies and dynamic height anomalies. Basin-wide sea surface height anomalies are used to derive an equatorial Kelvin wave mode. The time evolution of this mode represents the basis for a regression analysis to investigate related oceanic variability: Compared to the exceptionally strong wave activity in 2002, equatorial Kelvin waves were generally weaker during 2005. The main effect of equatorial Kelvin waves on zonal velocity anomalies at 23 degrees W, 0 degrees is evident well below the EUC core. Their direct influence on cold tongue sea surface temperature is small, but they are found to affect the equatorial thermocline slope. Prior to the cold tongue onset in 2002 (2005), the presence of equatorial Kelvin waves is associated with a flattened (steeper) thermocline slope that is crucial for the shallowing (deepening) of the EUC core at 23 degrees W and that might precondition the development of the warm (cold) event.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2008JC005101
ISSN: 2169-9275
Projects: Future Ocean, BMBF Nordatlantik, AMMA
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2009 15:04
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 17:59
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/3408

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