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Title

Ten years of marine current measurements in Espartel Sill, Strait of Gibraltar

AuthorsSammartino, Simone; García-Lafuente, Jesús; Naranjo, Cristina; Sánchez-Garrido, José Carlos; Sánchez Leal, Ricardo; Sánchez-Román, Antonio
KeywordsADCP data
boundary layer
Mediterranean outflow
Strait of Gibraltar
Issue Date19-Sep-2015
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationJournal of Geophysical Research-Oceans 120(9): 6309-6328 (2015)
Abstract© 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. More than 10 year of Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler observations collected at the westernmost sill (Espartel sill) of the Strait of Gibraltar by a monitoring station have been carefully processed to provide the most updated estimation of the Mediterranean outflow. A comprehensive quality control of the factors affecting the uncertainty of the measurements has been carried out and great care has been paid to infer the current at the bottom layer, where direct observations are lacking. The mean outflow in the southern channel of the sill section has been estimated as -0.82 Sv (1 Sv = 1 × 106 m3 s-1), with an average contribution of the eddy fluxes of -0.04 Sv. This figure is an overestimation, as the mooring measurements, assumed valid for the whole section, ignore the lateral friction. On the other hand, it only gives the flow through the southern channel and disregards the fraction flowing through shallower northern part. Both drawbacks have been addressed by investigating the cross-strait structure of the outflow from hindcasts produced by the MITgcm numerical model, run in a high-resolution domain covering the Gulf of Cádiz and Alboran Sea basins. An overall rectifying factor of 1.039 was found satisfactory to correct the first estimate, so that the final mean outflow computed from this data set is -0.85 Sv, complemented with an uncertainty of ±0.03 Sv based on the interannual variability of the series. The temporal analysis of the series shows an outflow seasonality of around the 8% of the mean value, with maximum outflow in early spring.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014JC010674
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/126193
DOI10.1002/2014JC010674
Identifiersdoi: 10.1002/2014JC010674
issn: 2169-9291
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