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