Post-convection spreading phase in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea.

Testor, Pierre and Gascard, J.-C. (2006) Post-convection spreading phase in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 53 . pp. 869-893. DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2006.02.004.

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Abstract

This is a study about the spreading of newly formed deep waters following open ocean deep convection in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. The main results are from the SOFARGOS large scale float experiment initiated in 1994–1995. During the SOFARGOS project, CTD stations and Lagrangian observations of ocean currents were carried out in the Gulf of Lion from December 1994 to July 1995. Hydrological observations confirmed that deep water formation occurred very early during winter 1994–1995 (late December, early January) in conjunction with atmospheric cooling, deep convection penetrating down to 2000 m in the so-called Medoc area. Numerous eddies (both anticyclonic and cyclonic) drifted away from the convection area and advected newly formed deep waters far away from the source region. In particular, compact anticyclones appeared to be the most coherent (long-lived) eddies and capable of transporting newly formed Western Mediterranean Deep Waters several hundreds of kilometers away from the convection area. Characterized by an inner core of about 5 km in radius, these eddies are submesoscale features in the outer domain and appear as key elements of the open ocean convection processes. During their long journeys, these eddies interacted with larger scale features such as the Northern Boundary Current, the North Balearic Front, topographic Rossby waves, and Sardinian eddies. These interactions influenced the long-term behavior of the eddies (mean drift, composition) and represented an important part of (1) the spreading phase following deep convection and (2) the large scale thermohaline circulation

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Deep convection; Submesoscale eddies; Western Mediterranean Sea
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.dsr.2006.02.004
ISSN: 0967-0637
Projects: SOFARGOS, MAST
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:51
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 11:39
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/755

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