An estimate of the climatological mean circulation in the western North Atlantic
In order to produce a long-term mean circulation pattern for the western North Atlantic, geostrophic velocities have been calculated using a recently-assembled hydrographic database comprised of NODC station data from 1904–1990. The property fields generated from this database are smoothed on isopycnal surfaces and have a nominal resolution of one degree for the spatial domain of this study (34–42N, 48–66W). To reference the geostrophic velocities, SOFAR float data over the period 1972–1990 are used. The flow fields from this calculation are compared to fields produced using an assumed level of no motion. The calculations employing float data yield a flow field with two strong northern cyclonic gyres separated at ≈ 56W, the approximate location of the New England Seamounts. The southern anticyclonic recirculation gyre is larger and weaker with two weak cells embedded within it. Significant downstream changes in transport result from the presence of the recirculations, particularly the northern gyres.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1995-11-01
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