Updated bathymetry of the Anegada-Jungfern Passage complex and implications for Atlantic inflow to the abyssal Caribbean Sea
Abstract:Recent bathymetric, hydrographic and direct velocity measurements indicate that a previously unexplored deep passage in the northeastern Caribbean Sea may play a significant role in the abyssal ventilation of this basin. The Anegada-Jungfern Passage complex has long been recognized as the sole pathway for deep Atlantic inflow to the eastern Caribbean. The Anegada Passage (sill depth 1915 m) connects the Atlantic Ocean with the small Virgin Islands Basin, while Jungfern Passage (sill depth 1815 m) connects the latter with the large and deep Venezuela Basin comprising the eastern third of the Caribbean Sea. In the region of Jungfern Passage recent bathymetric measurements reveal additional, shallower routes for Atlantic inflow at depths between 1710 and 1630 m. Despite the relatively shallow controlling depths of these passages, direct measurements of velocity and watermass properties reveal an active inflow of water of Atlantic origin. Bathymetric and other oceanographic observations indicate that the previously unexplored Grappler Channel (sill depth 1710 m; located just west of Jungfern Passage) is responsible for up to 20% of the total inflow to the abyssal Caribbean from the mid-depth Atlantic (about 0.2 Sv).
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1997
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