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The Canary Eddy Corridor: A major pathway for long-lived eddies in the subtropical North Atlantic

AutorSangrà, Pablo; Pascual, Ananda ; Rodríguez-Santana, Ángel; Machín, Francisco; Mason, Evan ; McWilliams, James C.; Pelegrí, Josep Lluís ; Dong, Changming; Rubio, Ana M.; Arístegui, Javier; Marrero-Díaz, Ángeles; Hernández Guerra, Alonso; Martínez, Antonio; Auladell, Maricel
Palabras claveEddy corridor
Long-lived eddies
Eddies demography
Eddy tracking
Northeastern subtropical Atlantic
Fecha de publicacióndic-2009
CitaciónDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 56(12): 2100-2114 (2009)
ResumenWe report, from remote sensing and in situ observations, a new type of permanent structure in the eastern subtropical Atlantic Ocean, that we call the ‘‘Canary Eddy Corridor’’. The phenomenon, is a zonal long-lived (43 months) mesoscale eddy corridor, whose source is the flow perturbation of the Canary Current and the Trade Winds at the Canary Islands. The latitudinal range of the corridor spans 221N–291N and extends from the Canaries to at least 32ºW, near the mid-Atlantic. This is the main region of longlived westward-propagating eddies in the subtropical northeast Atlantic. From a agedistribution study we observe that at least 10% of mesoscale eddies in this region are long-lived, with a dominance of anticyclones over cyclones. Another four westwardpropagating eddy corridors were also detected: two small corridors north and south of the Azores Front; a small zonal corridor located near 31ºN, south of the island of Madeira; and a small corridor located near the Cape Blanc giant filament. The existence of these corridors may change, at least for the northeastern subtropical Atlantic, the general idea that mesoscale eddies are disorganized, ubiquitous structures in the ocean. The Canary Eddy Corridor constitutes a direct zonal pathway that conveys water massand biogeochemical properties offshore from the Canary Island/Northwest Africa upwelling system, and may be seen as a recurrent offshore pump of organic matter and carbon to the oligotrophic ocean interior. Estimates of volume and mass transport indicate that Canary Eddy Corridor westward transport is more than one-fourth of the southward transport of the Canary Current. The westward transport of kinetic energy by the eddies of the Canary Corridor is as important as the southward transport by the Canary Current. The total primary production related to the Corridor may be as high as the total primary production of the northwest Africa upwelling system for the same latitude range
Descripción16 pages, 11 figures, 3 table
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2009.08.008
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