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Sea level and Eddy Kinetic Energy variability in the Bay of Biscay, inferred from satellite altimeter data

AuthorsCaballero, Ainhoa; Pascual, Ananda ; Dibarboure, Gerald; Espino, Manuel
Issue Date2008
CitationJournal of Marine Systems 72: 116- 134 (2008)
AbstractTwelve years (1993-2005) of altimetric data, combining different missions (ERS-1/2, TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1 and Envisat), are used to analyse sea level and Eddy Kinetic Energy variability in the Bay of Biscay at different time-scales. A specific processing of coastal data has been applied, to remove erroneous artefacts. Likewise, an optimal interpolation has been used, to create a series of regional Sea Level Anomaly maps, merging data sets from two satellites. The sea level presents a trend of about 2.7 mm/year, which is within the averaged values of sea level rise in the global ocean. Frequency spectra show that the seasonal cycle is the main time-scale affecting the sea level and Eddy Kinetic Energy variability. The maximum sea level occurs in October, whilst the minimum is observed in April. The steric effect is the cause of this annual cycle. The Northern French shelf/slope presents intense variability which is likely due to internal tides. Some areas of the ocean basin are also characterised by intense variability, due to the presence of eddies. The Eddy Kinetic Energy, in turn, is higher from December to May, than during the rest of the year and presents a weak positive trend from April 1995 to April 2005. Several documented mesoscale events, occurring at the end of 1997 and during 1998, are analysed. Altimetry maps prove to be a useful tool to monitor swoddy-like eddies from their birth to their decay, as well as the inflow of seasonal slope water current into the southeastern corner of the Bay of Biscay. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2007.03.011
issn: 0924-7963
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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