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Distribution and circulation of water masses in the Gulf of Cadiz from in situ observations

Distribution and circulation of water masses in the Gulf of Cadiz from in situ observations,10.1016/j.dsr2.2006.04.012,Deep-sea Research Part Ii-topic

Distribution and circulation of water masses in the Gulf of Cadiz from in situ observations   (Citations: 19)
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From data collected during GOLFO 2001 survey, a study was conducted on the circulation and distribution of water masses in the Gulf of Cadiz in the spring of 2001. The general surface circulation in the Gulf of Cadiz is anticyclonic with short-term, meteorologically induced variations. North Atlantic Central Water (NACW) (γt=26.6–27.3kgm-3) is a representative water mass of the upper 1000m of the water column. To the north, the lower part of the NACW layer (γt=27.3kgm-3) is entrained by Mediterranean Water (MW) towards the open ocean while the upper layer (γt=26.6kgm-3) forms part of the anticyclonic surface circulation of the Gulf of Cadiz. NACW mainly upwells in the vicinity of Capes St. Vincent and St. Maria. The upwelling off Cape St. Vincent is an open-sea process linked to a positive wind curl over the area, whereas the upwelling off Cape St. Maria is a more likely coastal process with a short time response to changes in the wind regime. The waters upwelled off Cape St. Vincent move eastwards following the main current until reaching ∼7.5°W, where they form the filament of Cape St. Maria, whose core flows at about 40–50m. Wind changes from westerlies to easterlies produce important temporal variability in some spatial features (the upwelling off Cape St. Maria, the surface signature of the Huelva Front or the region of warm coastal waters) in a relatively shallow layer. Below this surface layer, the hydrological characteristics are fairly independent of meteorological forcing.
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    • ...A considerable fraction of the surface volume transport in the meander is diverted towards the Strait of Gibraltar to feed the Atlantic Jet into the Mediterranean Sea (Criado-Aldeanueva, 2004), and the remaining veers southwards and then southwestwards to rejoin the Canary Current...
    • ...where r is the normalised distance of each observation to the central point of the filtering grid and a is a smoothing filter parameter that has been set to a ¼ 0.5 considering the correlation between the measured velocities both in the horizontal and vertical directions (Criado-Aldeanueva, 2004)...
    • ...The open-sea (depths greater than 200 m) surface circulation in the Gulf of Ca´ diz during GOLFO- 2001 survey is anticyclonic with short-term, meteorologically induced variability that changes geostrophic streamlines and volume transport noticeably in less than two weeks (Criado-Aldeanueva, 2004)...
    • ...However, the subsurface circulation a few tens of metres below the sea surface is rather insensitive to this meteorological change (Criado-Aldeanueva, 2004)...

    Jesús García-Lafuenteet al. Water mass circulation on the continental shelf of the Gulf of Cádiz

    • ...Finally, the branch that separates fromtheStraitofGibraltarformsananticyclonicmeander in the easternmost region to feed the Canary Current (Sánchez and Relvas, 2003; Criado-Aldeanueva et al., in press)...
    • ...García-Lafuente et al. (in press) and Criado-Aldeanueva et al. (in press) depict the water mass circulation pattern on the continental shelf and the outer region of the Gulf of Cadiz and describe some mesoscale features like the filament of CSM...
    • ...The spatial scale correlation has been established as 20 km, and the noise–signal ratio as 0.001 for CTD data (see Criado-Aldeanueva et al., in press for details)...
    • ...In the Macroscale leg, widely discussed in Criado-Aldeanueva et al. (in press), westerlies were dominant but some of the oceanographic features related to this regime weaken and lead to those of easterlies...
    • ...situation between the two mesoscales (Criado-Aldeanueva et al., in press)...
    • ...In both legs, the surface signature of the filament of fresher water off Cape St Maria (see Criado-Aldeanueva et al., in press) is clearly detected...
    • ...Although the geographical scope of the samplings does not allow determining the position and dimension of the filament accurately, there are pieces of evidence that it could be slightly displaced to the west in Mesoscale 1. It might be that the wind induced variability of the geostrophic current that advects to the south the upwelled waters and gives rise to the filament (see Criado-Aldeanueva et al., in press) promote some variations in ...

    F. Criado-Aldeanuevaet al. Wind induced variability of hydrographic features and water masses dis...

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