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Exchange flows through the Strait of Gibraltar: transformations and reconstruction from limited observations

AuthorsSánchez-Román, Antonio; Jordá, Gabriel ; Gomis, Damià ; García-Lafuente, Jesús; García-Sotillo, M.
KeywordsStrait of Gibraltar
exchange flows
heat and salt fluxes
transport reconstruction
Issue Date12-Mar-2015
CitationCLIMATE-ES 2015
AbstractThe Mediterranean Sea is a semi-enclosed basin connected to the global ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar. Therefore, fluxes throughout Gibraltar will determine the basin characteristics in terms of water, heat and salt. Nevertheless, the estimation of the exchange flows from observations is a difficult task due to technical and operational limitations, then requiring the use of model data to fill the observational gap. We present here a reconstruction of transports from three different datasets: mooring data, land-based radar data and SSH data by using the Reduced Order Optimal Interpolation (ROOI) technique. The covariance patterns are obtained from the outputs of a threedimensional, hydrostatic and high resolution numerical model. Results show correlations higher than R=0.90 between observed and reconstructed transports, then giving support to the computation performed. Furthermore, incoming and outgoing waters change their properties during their passage through the Strait due to mixing and entrainment between Mediterranean and Atlantic waters. This transformation of the water masses will determine the net heat and salt exchanges of the Mediterranean with the global ocean. These vertical transfers of heat, salt and mass between Atlantic and Mediterranean waters are explored based on the outputs of a three-dimensional, fully non-linear, non-hydrostatic numerical model. The model covers the entire Mediterranean basin (1/16o of spatial resolution) with much enhanced resolution in the area of the Strait (1/200o). This model includes a realistic barotropic tidal forcing and atmospheric pressure, as well as heat and water fluxes at the sea surface. The results show an instantaneous net entrainment of 0.01 ± 0.18 Sv into the lower layer, which involves net losses of heat and salt for the Atlantic inflow of 0.39 ± 2.31°C×Sv and 0.33 ± 7.04×106 kg s-1, respectively. These vertical transports are mainly driven by the Atlantic inflow at the eastern limit of the Strait
DescriptionComunicación presentada en CLIMATE-ES 2015, Progress on climate change detection and projections over Spain since the findings of the IPCC AR5, celebrado los días 11 a 13 de Marzo de 2015 en Tortosa (España)
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Comunicaciones congresos
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