||Gaillard Fabienne1, Mercier Herle1, Kermabon Catherine1
||1 : Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, Lab Phys Oceans, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
||Journal of Geophysical Union - Research C - Oceans (0148-0227) (American Geophysical Union), 2005-07 , Vol. 110 , N. C7 , P. NIL_138-NIL_154
|WOS© Times Cited
||Upper ocean seasonal cycle, Mesoscale, Northeast Atlantic, Subduction, Mode water, Mixed layer
||The Programme Ocean Multidisciplinaire Meso Echelle (POMME) experiment was designed to describe and quantify the role of mesoscale processes in the subduction of mode waters in the northeast Atlantic. During 1 year ( September 2000 - October 2001), in situ measurements were conducted over a 8 degrees square area centered on 18 degrees W, 42 degrees N. We present the synthesis of the physical data set collected during this experiment. To improve time and space coverages, these measurements are combined with satellite information from sea surface temperature and altimetry. Daily fields of temperature, salinity, and stream function are produced over a seasonal cycle with a simplified Kalman filter. We analyze the annual cycle of the upper layer. The 1 year mean circulation in the upper 400 m resembles the scheme proposed by Paillet and Mercier ( 1997). The meridional component of the flow carries cold water southward, thus contributing to cool the POMME area. The annual mean heat budget shows that this advection by the mean current nearly balances the warming by the surface heat fluxes. The mixed layer maximum depth is reached in March. It increases, in zonal averages, from 100 m south of 38 degrees N to more than 270 m north of 45 degrees N and, remarkably, is shaped by the mesoscale. The subpolar mode water formed in the north of the POMME area has a lower density (26.8 - 27.0) than the mode water formed in the years 1988 - 1990 that Paillet and Arhan ( 1996) found in the density range ( 27.0 - 27.1). This mode water is continuously advected southward across the 42 degrees N latitude, leading to an annual mean transport of 1.4 10(6) m(3) s(-1).