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In situ and satellite observations of the eastward migration of the Western Alboran Sea Gyre

AuthorsFlexas, María del Mar; Gomis, Damià ; Ruiz, Simón ; Pascual, Ananda ; León, Pierre
Issue Date2006
PublisherPergamon Press
CitationProgress in Oceanography 70: 486- 509 (2006)
AbstractDuring October 2003 an intensive oceanographic survey (BIOMEGA) was carried out in the Alboran Sea, coinciding with a migration event of the Western Alboran Sea Gyre (WAG). The observations gathered during that cruise constitute the first field evidence of a migrated stage of the WAG. In this work we present the main differences between the 3D hydrodynamic fields observed during BIOMEGA and those corresponding to a WAG located at its usual position. The migration of the gyre was followed by satellite (altimetry and sea surface temperature) imagery. The causes of the gyre migration are explored in terms of the quasi-geostrophic tendency equation, in particular of the dynamics governing scales larger than the Rossby radius of deformation. It is shown that the steady state gyre must be almost equivalent barotropic and that the key process to break down the stationarity would be a density advection at gyre scale. The mechanisms to explain the migration of the WAG proposed by previous authors are discussed in light of the explanation proposed in this work. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2006.03.017
issn: 0079-6611
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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