Zonal intermediate currents in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean

Type Article
Date 2006-03
Language English
Author(s) Ollitrault Michel1, Lankhorst Matthias2, Fratantoni David3, Richardson Philip3, Zenk Walter2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : Leibniz Inst Meereswissensch, GEOMAR, D-24105 Kiel, Germany.
3 : Woods Hole Oceanog Inst, Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA.
Source Geophysical Research Letters (0094-8276) (American Geophysical Union), 2006-03 , Vol. 33
DOI 10.1029/2005GL025368
WOS© Times Cited 40
Keyword(s) Seasonal fluctuations, Float data, Zonal current, Antarctic intermediate Water, Equatorial Atlantic ocean
Abstract Acoustic float data collected near 800 m depth, are used to map zonal mean currents within the Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) tongue in the equatorial Atlantic. Alternating zonal jets of 2° latitudinal width are revealed between 6°S and 6°N. Displacements from profiling floats drifting near 1000 m depth, also reveal similar zonal jets at the base of the AAIW layer. The strongest jets (15 cm s−1 peak) are found at 4°S, 2°S, 0°, 2°N and 4°N. They are coherent longitudinally over order of 3000 km and, poleward of 1°S and 1°N, generally coherent vertically between 800 m and 1000 m. Large seasonal fluctuations exist at both levels: within 1° of equator, AAIW at 800 m flows westward (8 cm s−1 mean) in boreal summer and fall but eastward (3 cm s−1 mean) in winter, whereas the flow at 1000 m is eastward in late fall and winter.
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