Measuring Surface Currents in Drake Passage from Altimetry and Hydrography

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  • 1 James Rennell Division for Ocean Circulation, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom
  • | 2 George Deacon Division for Ocean Processes, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom
  • | 3 Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
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Abstract

This paper describes a new method for combining altimetry data with hydrography in order to produce absolute surface geostrophic currents from altimetry. This method is then applied to data from the Drake Passage allowing surface currents to be monitored every 35 days during the second half of 1992. The resulting currents show several regions of strong currents with water flowing to the east and other places where the currents are either zero or flowing to the west After comparison with a model it is suggested that this structure is a result of the bathymetry.

Abstract

This paper describes a new method for combining altimetry data with hydrography in order to produce absolute surface geostrophic currents from altimetry. This method is then applied to data from the Drake Passage allowing surface currents to be monitored every 35 days during the second half of 1992. The resulting currents show several regions of strong currents with water flowing to the east and other places where the currents are either zero or flowing to the west After comparison with a model it is suggested that this structure is a result of the bathymetry.

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