Western Mediterranean sea-level rise: changing exchange flow through the Strait of Gibraltar

Type Article
Date 2000-09
Language English
Author(s) Ross T, Garrett C, Le Traon Pierre-Yves
Affiliation(s) Univ Victoria, Dept Phys & Astron, Victoria, BC V8W 3P6, Canada.
CLS Space Oceanog Div, Dept Oceanog, F-31526 Ramonville St Agne, St Agne, France.
Source Geophysical Research Letters (0094-8276) (Amer Geophysical Union), 2000-09 , Vol. 27 , N. 18 , P. 2949-2952
DOI 10.1029/2000GL011653
WOS© Times Cited 35
Abstract Sea-level data from tide gauges and satellite altimetry show a decrease of nearly 40% in the sea-level drop between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean from 1994 to 1997, coming mainly from a rapid rise of western Mediterranean sea-level by more than 10 mm/year. A decrease in the sea-level difference across the Strait, coincident with this Mediterranean rise, indicates that the surface inflow is reduced by an amount dynamically consistent with the change along the strait. These secular changes are accompanied by a seasonal cycle in the sea-level drop between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, which indicates a seasonal flipping of hydraulic exchange states in the Strait of Gibraltar. Thus, we suggest the sea-level rise in the Mediterranean is a consequence of a changing exchange flow through the Strait of Gibraltar, driven indirectly by changing conditions in the Mediterranean.
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