Free Content Geostrophic transport in the Warm Water Sphere of the eastern subtropical North Atlantic

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Abstract:

Geostrophic transports in the eastern subtropical North Atlantic computed from historic hydrographic data and recent CTD measurements show a mean transport in the subtropical gyre of 11 ± 1.5 × 106 m3 s–1 in the upper 1000 m between 35W and the African coast. The dynamic method was used in conjunction with a conservation of mass scheme (Fiadeiro and Veronis, 1982) to determine the level of no motion. This level lies in the 1200 m depth near the Azores and drops to 1500 m in the tropics.

The main inflow enters south of the Azores as a relatively narrow current, turns southward at the latitude of Madeira and then widens. Three current bands transport the water southward. North of the Cape Verde Islands, the current turns westward. This part of the North Equatorial Current extends more to the south in the upper 200 m than in the 200–800 m layer. The Portugal current, between the Azores and the Portuguese coast, which is thought by some to be strong, is seen here as a relatively weak flow.

Maps of potential vorticity derived from smoothed density profiles are consistent with the general pattern of geostrophic transport.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1357/002224084788506022

Publication date: August 1, 1984

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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