Oceanographic Conditions in the Coastal Waters of N. W. Italy during the Spring of 1977.
SACLANT ASW RESEARCH CENTRE LA SPEZIA (ITALY)
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Two month long current and meteorological records, collected during the spring of 1977, have been used to determine the mean currents along the northwestern coast of Italy and to estimate the correlation between the variations in the flow and the large-scale winds. The overall flow was found to be northwestwards along the coast, with a speed of about 4 cms. This flow was directed against the mean alongshore wind and for zero wind conditions the mean flow along the coast was predicted to have a speed of 5 cms. This gives direct evidence of an alongshore density-driven current in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The data suggested that a significant proportion of this flow continued northwards past Elba into the Ligurian Sea. The coherence between the current and the wind fluctuations was low on average only about 20 of the current fluctuations could be attributed to the wind. It is probable that both the local bottom topography and the dynamics of the deep basins will have influenced the response of the coastal currents. There was a uniform warming of the coastal waters during April and May, the mixed-layer temperature increasing from about 14C to 18C. Near-bottom temperatures remained constant and the warming was confined to the upper layers of the water column, suggesting that advective effects were not important.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography