Eddy transport of Western Mediterranean intermediate water to the Alboran Sea

John Allen, S. Painter, M. Rixen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    During the second cruise of the EU funded OMEGA project the towed undulating vehicle SeaSoar, was deployed to survey the upper 350 m of the water column in the eastern Alboran Sea and extreme western Algerian basin. With an effective along-track resolution of 4 km, the data sets enabled a detailed description of the different upper ocean water types and the fronts that separate them. The Almeria Oran front forms at the eastern boundary of the Alboran Sea gyre system, in the upper 150–200 m of the water column, and separates waters of predominantly Atlantic origin from those formed in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Below these surface waters, but above the Levantine Intermediate Water, Western Mediterranean Intermediate Waters, believed to be formed to the north of the Balearic Sea, are normally observed in this region. However, to our knowledge, this is the first time a discrete eddy of Western Mediterranean Intermediate Water, a “weddy,” has been described in the extreme western Algerian basin. Repeated surveys of the region allowed us to observe the evolution of the eddy over a period of 40 d. A climatological analysis of historical data in the MEDAR/MEDATLAS database provides evidence for the repeatability of this observation and the significance of the estimated transport.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)C04024
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
    Issue numberC4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


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