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The Alboran eddies

Lively Data : August 21, 2007

In the new version of the LAS issued this month, the products dedicated to the Mediterranean Sea include a new regional data set, directly accessible from the "datasets" selection (Mediterranean - delayed time - Sea Surface Heights and geostrophic currents).

September 18th, 2002 in Western Mediterranean : SSALTO/DUACS delayed time Absolute Dynamic Topography; variable: Maps of Absolute Dynamic Topography Merged. In the menu "select view", choose "xy slice" then define the date. The black line in the Alboran Sea locates the transect used on right.
SSALTO/DUACS delayed time Absolute Dynamic Topography; variable : Maps of Absolute Dynamic Topography Merged. In the menu "select view", choose "xt(Hovmoller) slice" then define the beginning and the ending dates.

This example illustrates the hydrodynamic structures at the exit of the Strait of Gibraltar, in the Alboran Sea. These structures are the witness of an important thermohaline circulation between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean : cold and less salty atlantic waters enter on the surface into the Mediterranean Sea while warm and salty Mediterranean waters flow out in depth. On its way through the Alboran sea, the atlantic jet generates one or even two anticyclonic eddies.
With this longitudinal transect all over one year, the maps generated by the LAS distinguish perfectly the important seasonal variations from these eddies as well as an eastward advection of the western eddy at the end of the summer 2003.

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