The mean flow field of the tropical Atlantic Ocean.

Stramma, Lothar and Schott, Friedrich (1999) The mean flow field of the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Deep-Sea Research Part II-Topical Studies in Oceanography, 46 (1-2). pp. 279-304. DOI 10.1016/S0967-0645(98)00109-X.

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Abstract

The mean horizontal ßow Þeld of the tropical Atlantic Ocean is described between 20¡N and
20¡S from observations and literature results for three layers of the upper ocean, Tropical
Surface Water, Central Water, and Antarctic Intermediate Water. Compared to the subtropical
gyres the tropical circulation shows several zonal current and countercurrent bands of smaller meridional and vertical extent. The wind-driven Ekman layer in the upper tens of meters of the ocean masks at some places the ßow structure of the Tropical Surface Water layer as is the case for the Angola Gyre in the eastern tropical South Atlantic. Although there are regions with a strong seasonal cycle of the Tropical Surface Water circulation, such as the North Equatorial Countercurrent, large regions of the tropics do not show a signiÞcant seasonal cycle. In the Central Water layer below, the eastward North and South Equatorial undercurrents appear imbedded in the westward-ßowing South Equatorial Current. The Antarcic Intermediate Water layer contains several zonal current bands south of 3¡N, but only weak ßow exists north of 3¡N. The sparse available data suggest that the Equatorial Intermediate Current as well as the Southern and Northern Intermediate Countercurrents extend zonally across the entire equatorial basin. Due to the convergence of northern and southern water masses, the western tropical Atlantic north of the equator is an important site for the mixture of water masses, but more work is needed to better understand the role of the various zonal under- and countercurrents in cross-equatorial water mass transfer. ( 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

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.: 10.1016/S0967-0645(98)00109-X
ISSN: 0967-0645
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 08:39
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/4060

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