Numerical Simulations of the Circulation of the Eastern Mediterranean,
SACLANT ASW RESEARCH CENTRE LA SPEZIA (ITALY)
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Oceanographic observations have shown that the surface circulation in the eastern Mediterranean consists of the zonal North African Current along with systems of gyres and rings both north and south of the Current. A large cyclonic gyre occurs between Cyprus and Crete, and another between Greece and Libya. A weaker, quasi-permanent eddy is formed in the Ionian sea and is intensified by the flow through the Strait of Sicily. An anticyclonic ring occurs south of the North African Current in the Gulf of Sirte and another occurs in the southwest Levantine Sea. The reduced-gravity model one active layer of Hurlburt and Thompson has been adapted and applied to the semi-enclosed basin of the eastern Mediterranean. Using monthly averages of climatological wind stresses and the estimate of the annual mean flow through the Strait of Sicily, numerical simulations of the circulation in the eastern Mediterranean basin have been carried out. Model runs both with and without inflow through the Straits have been performed. The overall results agree with the observations. They show the presence of the North African Current, two persistent cyclonic gyres of varying strengths and two anticyclonic rings.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography