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Monitoring of a quasi-stationary eddy in the Bay of Biscay by means of satellite, in situ and model results

Abstract : The presence of a quasi-stationary anticyclonic eddy within the southeastern Bay of Biscay (centred around 44°30′N–4°W) has been reported on various occasions in the bibliography. The analysis made in this study for the period 2003–2010, by using in situ and remote sensing measurements and model results shows that this mesoscale coherent structure is present almost every year from the end of winter-beginning of spring, to the beginning of fall. During this period it remains in an area limited to the east by the Landes Plateau, to the west by Le Danois Bank and Torrelavega canyon and to the northwest by the Jovellanos seamount. All the observations and analysis made in this contribution, suggest that this structure is generated between Capbreton and Torrelavega canyons. Detailed monitoring from in situ and remote sensing data of an anticyclonic quasi-stationary eddy, in 2008, shows the origin of this structure from a warm water current located around 43°42′N–3°30′W in mid-January. This coherent structure is monitored until August around the same area, where it has a marked influence on the Sea Level Anomaly, Sea Surface Temperature and surface Chlorophyll-a concentration. An eddy tracking method, applied to the outputs of a numerical model, shows that the model is able to reproduce this type of eddy, with similar 2D characteristics and lifetimes to that suggested by the observations and previous works. This is the case, for instance, of the simulated MAY04 eddy, which was generated in May 2004 around Torrelavega canyon and remained quasi-stationary in the area for 4 months. The diameter of this eddy ranged from 40 to 60 km, its azimuthal velocity was less than 20 cm s−1, its vertical extension reached 3000–3500 m depth during April and May and it was observed to interact with other coherent structures.
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Contributor : Francoise Cudennec <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 16, 2015 - 5:17:50 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:17:07 AM

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Ainhoa Caballero, Luis Ferrer, Guillaume Charria, Benjamin H. Taylor, Nicolas Grima. Monitoring of a quasi-stationary eddy in the Bay of Biscay by means of satellite, in situ and model results. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, Elsevier, 2014, 106, pp.23-37. ⟨10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.09.029⟩. ⟨hal-01132154⟩



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