Diurnal warm-layer events in the western Mediterranean and European shelf seas

Type Article
Date 2008-02
Language English
Author(s) Merchant C. J.1, Filipiak M. J.1, Le Borgne P.4, Roquet H., Autret Emmanuelle2, Piolle Jean-Francois2, Lavender S.3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Edinburgh, Sch Geosci, Edinburgh EH9 3JN, Midlothian, Scotland.
2 : IFREMER, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
3 : Univ Plymouth, Sch Earth Ocean & Environm Sci, Plymouth PL4 8AA, Devon, England.
4 : Meteo France, Ctr Meteorol Spatiale, F-22302 Lannion, France.
Source Geophysical Research Letters (0094-8276) (American Geophysical Union), 2008-02 , Vol. 35 , N. L04601 , P. 1-4
DOI 10.1029/2007GL033071
WOS© Times Cited 61
Abstract We characterize near-surface ocean diurnal warm-layer events, using satellite observations and fields from numerical weather forecasting. The study covers April to September, 2006, over the area 11 degrees W to 17 degrees E and 35 degrees N to 57 degrees N, with 0.1 degrees cells. We use hourly satellite SSTs from which peak amplitudes of diurnal cycles in SST (dSSTs) can be estimated with error similar to 0.3 K. The diurnal excursions of SST observed are spatially and temporally coherent. The largest dSSTs exceed 6 K, affect 0.01% of the surface, and are seen in the Mediterranean, North and Irish Seas. There is an anti-correlation between the magnitude and the horizontal length scale of dSST events. Events wherein dSST exceeds 4 K have length scales of <= 40 km. From the frequency distribution of different measures of wind-speed minima, we infer that extreme dSST maxima arise where conditions of low wind speed are sustained from early morning to mid afternoon.
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