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Free Content Multi-year current time series in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean

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Time series of currents from an array of 22 subsurface moorings in the Canary and Iberian Basins of the North Atlantic are analyzed with respect to low-frequency variability. The record lengths are usually 1 to 2 years but almost 9 years (site KIEL276, 33N, 22W) in one case. Maximal energies are observed at periods between 50 and 500 days, and high-energy events are found from time to time. The 9-year long series indicates changes in currents with a 3-4 year period, primarily in the zonal component, and anisotropic energy distributions are found for both current components at periods around 200 days. The vertical structure can be well approximated by the barotropic and first-order baroclinic dynamical modes or by one empirical orthogonal function. The regional distribution of spectral properties indicates higher energies in frontal zones and in the neighborhood of the Canary archipelago. In general, the kinetic energy in the month-to-year variability is lower than in the western basins of the North Atlantic.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1992

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, 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. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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