Mediterranean large scale circulation, water mass formation and sea level low frequency variability

The Mediterranean Sea time mean circulation structure is depicted from a 23-year-long high-resolution reanalysis. It is found to be composed of boundary and open ocean intensified jets at the border of cyclonic and anticyclonic gyres. The decadal variability in the basin is connected to a current reversal phenomena in the northern Ionian Sea and several decadal gyre intensification processes. The water mass formation rates variability is dominated by event-like periods occurring for 2-3 years at higher rates and then decreasing in amplitude for  longer time periods.

Last we construct a formalism to obtain a Mean Sea Level Equation (MSLE) for any limited ocean region and we diagnose the dynamical balances for the Mediterranean Sea. It is found that the MSL tendency is made of a steric contribution that is almost periodic in time superimposed to a stochastic-like signal due to the mass balance, dominating the MSL tendency. The MSL tendency stochastic-like term is due the unbalance between the volume flux at Gibraltar and the area average surface water flux.

About the presenter
Nadia Pinardi

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Main Seminar Room

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Date and time: 
Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 10:30am