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The water masses along the western boundary of the south and equatorial Atlantic

AutorMémery, L.; Arhan, M.; Álvarez-Salgado, Xosé Antón ; Messias, M. J.; Mercier, Herlé; Castro, Carmen G. ; Ríos, Aida F.
Fecha de publicación2000
CitaciónProgress in Oceanography 47(1): 69-98 (2000)
ResumenA quasi-meridional hydrographic section located offshore from South America from 50°S to 10°N, and three shorter transverse lines to the continental slope, are used for a descriptive study of the water masses along the western boundary of the South and Equatorial Atlantic. At the upper and intermediate levels, the tracer analysis provides geographical limits of the wind-driven circulation regimes, and a comparison of the tracer values at the continental slope and along the meridional section shows where the boundary currents originate. At depths shallower than about 200 m, the subdivision of the subtropical gyre into two cells separated by the Subtropical Countercurrent near 28°S, that was pointed out in a previous study, is corroborated. South of this front, a warm variety (∼18°C) of Subtropical Mode Water in the inner recirculation of the Brazil Current appears, despite its limited extent, as a southern counterpart of the North Atlantic 18°C water. At the deep levels, the Upper Circumpolar Water and Upper North Atlantic Deep Water enter the South Atlantic in a significantly overlapping density range. The ensuing lateral encounter of both water masses occurs at 26°S near the western boundary, where most of the boundary flow of the latter water is stopped and deflected seaward by the base of the subtropical gyre. Other tracer anomalies signal significant eastward escapes of North Atlantic Deep Water: within two jets at about two degrees of latitude on either side of the equator, in another narrow current at 10°S, and at 34°S. The latter latitude marks the confluence, and eastward deflection, of the opposite boundary currents of Lower North Atlantic Deep Water and Lower Circumpolar Water. Near the bottom of the Argentine Basin, the Weddell Sea Deep Water that flows westward north of the Zapiola Ridge is more recently ventilated than the water carried by the boundary current near the Falkland Escarpment. While a part of it flows anticyclonically around the ridge, another part turns equatorward and enhances the southern property signatures of the water farther north
Descripción30 pages, 1 table, 20 figures
Versión del editorhttps://doi.org/10.1016/S0079-6611(00)00032-X
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