Variations in the Structure of the Anticyclonic Gyres Found in the Alboran Sea
NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC AND ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS
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Historical satellite, aircraft, and in situ data have shown that two anticyclonic gyres the western and eastern Alboran gyres are major ocean features of the Alboran Sea. An examination of several years of satellite imagery indicates that large variations in the surface expression of these two gyres occur and that on occasion one or the other gyre disappears the disappearance of both gyres at the same time was not seen. The initial disappearance of either gyre occurs on a time scale of a week to 2 weeks, whereas the return may take from 3 weeks to 2 months. Various forcing mechanisms, i.e., winds, mass flux inflow through the Straits of Gibraltar and Sicily, andor density, have been used in numerical ocean circulation models to study the dynamics of the western Mediterranean Sea. Various model results show relationships similar to those shown by the satellite imagery. However, no single forcing mechanism has been positively identified as the source of the disappearances, and the events may be a result of a combination of forcing mechanisms. Keywords Nowcasting Ocean circulationmodels Mathematical models Reprints.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography