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Ocean margin exchange: water flux estimates
Huthnance, J.M.; van Aken, H.M.; White, M.; Barton, E.D.; Le Cann, B.; Ferreira Coelho, E.; Fanjul, E.Á.; Miller, P.; Vitorino, J. (2002). Ocean margin exchange: water flux estimates. J. Mar. Syst. 32(1-3): 107-137.
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963; e-ISSN 1879-1573, more
Also appears in:
Frankignoulle, M. (Ed.) (2002). Exchange Processes at the Ocean Margins. Selected papers from the 32nd International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics, held in Liège, Belgium on May 8-12, 2000. Journal of Marine Systems, 32(1-3). Elsevier: Amsterdam. ex1-ex2, 252 pp., more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Motion > Water motion > Water currents
    Topographic features > Submarine features > Shelf edge
    Water masses
    Water mixing
    ANE, Spain, Galicia [Marine Regions]; Spain, Galicia [Marine Regions]

Authors  Top 
  • Huthnance, J.M., correspondent
  • van Aken, H.M.
  • White, M.
  • Barton, E.D.
  • Le Cann, B.
  • Ferreira Coelho, E.
  • Fanjul, E.Á.
  • Miller, P.
  • Vitorino, J.

    Hydrographic data define source regions for deep, intermediate and upper-ocean water types found near the northwest Iberian margin; these water masses' structure and geostrophic flow are described. Labrador Sea Water (LSW) moves south through the region; above this at 1000 m, particularly near the coast, Mediterranean Sea Outflow Water (MSOW) moves north. Near-surface waters are more seasonal, and we distinguish summer and winter regimes. Summer: above 600 m, poleward flow over the slope is at a minimum in spring and summer, and a maximum in the autumn/early winter. Overlying this is a general southward flow linked to wind stress. Summer upwelling along the Iberian shelf has associated offshore filaments stretching westward, and appears most intense around Finisterre (starting earlier, more persistent). The vertical upwelling flux is t/pf but lateral exchange in filaments may be more. Winter: it is proposed that upper layers of the water column offshore are fed from the north. Potential vorticity calculations suggest enhanced diapycnic mixing. However, other data indicate an east-west front down to about 300 m at 39-40° N, i.e., north-south convergence. This front bends to the north near the shelf edge, in accord with a warm flow along the upper slope, 0.15 m/s or more. Surface temperatures often show a much broader (hundreds of kilometers) northward extension of warm water, probably affected by winds. The thermocline from the previous summer can persist to January at least. Coastal waters show cooler river runoff. Budgeting of water fluxes is discussed in relation to direct estimates (from water mass properties and current measurements) and in relation to possible process contributions to fluxes. On/off-shelf exchange has a relatively short time scale, estimated at about 12 days. Upwelling (mostly) and mixing may supply the nutrient content of about 200 m water depth for new production over the shelf.

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