Circulation and Oceanographic Properties in the Somali Basin as Observed During the 1979 Southwest Monsoon
NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE NSTL STATION MS
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Shipboard expendable bathythermograph XBT, salinity-temperature- depth STD, and sea surface temperature and salinity observations were taken from USNS WILKES T-AGS 33 from 16 August until 5 September 1979 in the area of the Somali Current off the coast of Northeast Africa. Analysis of the data indicated the presence of two large anti-cyclonic gyres. The larger of the two gyres, called the Great Whirl or Prime Eddy, was centered at about 7 N and 55 E with a diameter of approximately 350 nautical miles. The smaller gyre, known as the Socotra Eddy, was centered at approximately 12 N and 57 E with an approximate diameter of 200 nautical miles. The two eddies were separated by a trough of cold water advected from the region of upwelling off the Somali coast between 9 N and 11 N. Studies of TIROS-N satellite infrared photographs and XBT cross-sections taken from tankers transiting the area during July and early August 1979 indicated the presence of a southern eddy separated from the Great Whirl by a trough of cold, upwelled water between 3 N and 5 N. During the early part of the WILKES survey, the southern eddy and the Great Whirl coalesced.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography