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Development, Persistence, and Variability of Upwelling Filaments off the Atlantic Coast of the Iberian Peninsula

AuthorsHaynes, R.; Barton, Eric D. ; Pilling, I.
Issue DateDec-1993
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationJournal of Geophysical Research - Part C - Oceans 98(12): 681-692 (1993)
AbstractThe development, persistence, and variability of upwelling filaments off the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula are examined by means of advanced very high resolution radiometer infrared imagery observed between 1982 and 1990. These observations indicate that the regime is broadly similar to that observed in the California Current system and is closely related to the large scale wind climatology of the subtropical gyre. Upwelling generally starts in late May or early June and persists until late September or eady October. In May or June, a narrow band of cold water of quite uniform width is observed along much of the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula. This band has a “fringed” appearance; that is it consists of many narrow “fingers” of cool water extending 20–30 km offshore. The major filament structures generally do not begin to form until late July or August. The filaments appear first as bulges in the upwelling front. These bulges grow offshore to form filaments that reach their maximum length (200–250 km) in September. The lengths of the filaments gradually decrease until the filaments become relatively rare in late October. Typically, five or six fully developed filaments are observed off the Iberian Peninsula late in the upwelling season. Most of these are associated with major topographic features of the region, in particular the large capes which are common to the north and south of the peninsula. It is therefore postulated that the dominant dynamical processes related to filament formation off Iberia is topographic forcing. The exceptions are two major filaments commonly observed along the more regular coastline of northern Portugal. It is hypothesized that these filaments are formed by flow instabilities resulting in meandering of the southward flowing jet. These instabilities may possibly be initiated by the large capes of northern Spain.
Description12 páginas, 7 figuras, 2 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/93JC02016
Appears in Collections:(IIM) Artículos
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