On the discontinuous nature of the Mozambique Current.

Lutjeharms, Johann R.E., Biastoch, Arne , Van der Werf, Petra M., Ridderinkhof, Herman and De Ruijter, Wilhelmus P.M. (2012) On the discontinuous nature of the Mozambique Current. Open Access South African Journal of Science, 108 (1/2). DOI 10.4102/sajs.v108i1/2.428.

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The concept of a spatially continuous western boundary current in the Mozambique Channel has historically been based on erroneous interpretations of ships’ drift. Recent observations have demonstrated that the circulation in the Channel is instead dominated by anti-cyclonic eddies drifting poleward. It has therefore been suggested that no coherent Mozambique Current exists at any time. However, satellite and other observations indicate that a continuous current – not necessarily an inherent part of Mozambique Eddies – may at times be found along the full Mozambican shelf break. Using a high-resolution, numerical model we have demonstrated how such a feature may come about. In the model, a continuous current is a highly irregularly occurring event, occurring about once per year, with an average duration of only 9 days and with a vertical extent of about 800 m. Surface speeds may vary from 0.5 m/s to 1.5 m/s and the volume flux involved is about 10 Sv. The continuous current may occasionally be important for the transport of biota along the continental shelf and slope.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Oceanography; Mozambique Current
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: NOAA
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2012 09:36
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2019 09:38
URI: https://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/14713

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