Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Free Content Agulhas ring dynamics from TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimeter data

Download Article:
(PDF 3,726.9 kb)
The transfer of warm water from the Indian Ocean into the South Atlantic subtropical gyre takes place in the form of rings and filaments formed when the Agulhas Current retroflects south of Africa between 15 and 25E. A survey of the rings formed from September 1992 until December 1995 in the Retroflection region was carried out using TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter data. A two-layer model was used to estimate the upper layer thickness from the altimeter-derived sea-surface height anomaly data. An objective analysis scheme was used to construct a map of upper layer thickness every ten days. Seventeen rings and their trajectories were identified using these maps. The shedding of rings from the Agulhas Current was neither continuous nor periodic, and for long periods there is no formation of rings. Several rings remained in the region for more than a year and, at any given time, 2 to 6 rings coexisted in the region east of the Walvis Ridge. The results showed that the number of rings translating simultaneously in this region is larger during the first half of each year. The upper layer transport of the Agulhas Current in the Retroflection region was computed and a close association between high variations in transport and ring shedding was found. Rings translated WNW at translation speeds ranging from 5 to 16 km day−1 following formation. The values of available potential energy computed for the rings place them among the most energetic rings observed in the world oceans, with values of up to 70 × 1015 J. Transport computations indicate that each ring contributes in the average approximately 1 Sv of Agulhas Current waters to the Benguela Current.
No References for this article.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1997

More about this publication?
  • 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.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Purchase The Sea
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more