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Free Content Sea surface height variability of the Intra-Americas Sea from TOPEX/Poseidon satellite altimetry: 1992–1995

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This study analyzes sea surface height (SSH) variability over the Intra-Americas Sea for the period of September 1992 through December 1995. The TOPEX/Poseidon data set used herein is the SSH anomaly after subtracting the marine geoid and the 1993–1995 3-yr mean sea level for the region. The study of the time-series from SSH anomaly deviations involved 526 points located along the satellite tracks. Points that were in close proximity to land masses showed aliasing of the M2 tide. In the vicinity of the Gulf Loop Current, results had similarity to prior studies, i.e., SSH variability of ±20–25 cm, and substantial eddy energy in the western Gulf of Mexico. The Caribbean Sea had less variability than the Gulf of Mexico with values of ±10–12 cm, also consistent with prior results. Employing Hovmöller (space-time) analysis, variances in the SSH time-series were identified and tracked from east of the Lesser Antilles, along the path of the Caribbean Current and in the Gulf Loop Current, in an attempt to quantify the frequency and magnitude of eddy events. The region of highest SSH activity was in the vicinity of the Gulf Loop Current with an eddy-shedding frequency of more than one per year.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2000

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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