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The Atlantic inflow in the Western Alboran Sea

Henry PerkinsNaval Ocean Research and Development Activity, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

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Thomas KinderNaval Ocean Research and Development Activity, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

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Paul La VioletteNaval Ocean Research and Development Activity, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

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Abstract

An extensive dataset collected in the Alboran Sea during the 1982 Donde Va? experiment is used to characterize the kinematics and dynamics of the inflow of Atlantic water into the Mediterranean Sea. The veering of the inflow toward the ENE after leaving the Strait of Gibraltar and the existence of an anticyclonic gyre that fills much of the western Alboran Sea in the upper 200 m are confirmed in the mean. Inflow variability with periods of 2 to 10 days is described. Particularly striking is one interval of about 9 days during which the gyre was not present and the inflow adopted a southerly course after leaving the strait. The observations are interpreted in terms of vorticity conservation and in the light of earlier theoretical and numerical results.

Abstract

An extensive dataset collected in the Alboran Sea during the 1982 Donde Va? experiment is used to characterize the kinematics and dynamics of the inflow of Atlantic water into the Mediterranean Sea. The veering of the inflow toward the ENE after leaving the Strait of Gibraltar and the existence of an anticyclonic gyre that fills much of the western Alboran Sea in the upper 200 m are confirmed in the mean. Inflow variability with periods of 2 to 10 days is described. Particularly striking is one interval of about 9 days during which the gyre was not present and the inflow adopted a southerly course after leaving the strait. The observations are interpreted in terms of vorticity conservation and in the light of earlier theoretical and numerical results.

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