Seasonal transport variability of the Deep Western Boundary Current in the equatorial Atlantic.

Fischer, Jürgen and Schott, Friedrich (1997) Seasonal transport variability of the Deep Western Boundary Current in the equatorial Atlantic. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 102 (C13). 27,751-27,769. DOI 10.1029/97JC02327.

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A total of 21 about year‐long current meter records in the depth range of the upper and middle North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) were analyzed to determine the mean and the fluctuations of the upper Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC) in the equatorial Atlantic. The investigation was based on moored arrays at 44°W from three different deployment periods, 1989/1990, 1990/1991 and 1992/1994, and was supplemented by current profiling along 44°W and 35°W. The approximately 100‐km‐wide DWBC at 44°W, just north of the equator, was attached to the topography with the current maximum exceeding 70 cm s−1. Currents within the DWBC core followed the topography, and the close agreement between the mean current direction and the direction of maximum variance indicated that the major contribution to the DWBC variability near the equator was due to pulsing rather than meandering. For mean transports of upper and middle NADW, the current meter records were averaged over their deployment duration yielding a best estimate of 13 Sv in the depth range 1000 to 3100 m. The mean transport appeared robust, as subsets of the data from two different years yielded about the same mean transport, namely, 12.4 and 13.6 Sv. The DWBC transport time series showed a definite seasonal cycle, ranging from less than 7 Sv during September/October to about 25 Sv during January/February. Annual and semiannual transport harmonics had similar amplitudes, at about 6 Sv each, and together they explained about two thirds of the total transport variability. After crossing the equator, the DWBC splits into two cores with the major flow along a chain of seamounts near 3.5°S, near 35°W. Magnitudes and phases of the transport variability at 35°W, south of approximately 1.5°S, were similar to that at 44°W. Further, for the flow of lower NADW which was detached from the upper DWBC core, similar periodicity and phases were observed in the deep records at 44°W.

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.: 10.1029/97JC02327
ISSN: 2169-9275
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2008 11:15
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2018 10:06

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