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Sea surface transport in the Western Mediterranean sea: A Lagrangian perspective

November 18, 2013

We study the sea surface transport in the Western Mediterranean Sea from a Lagrangian point of view, in particular the Alboran and the North-Western sub-basins. The study is carried out through the analysis of three years of surface velocity model data through Finite Size Lyapunov Exponents, Residence Time and virtual particle trajectories complementing the classical Eulerian approach. The spatiotemporal variability of the main transport processes are inferred from the Empirical Orthogonal Function modes of the Lyapunov Exponents, being the most relevant modes discussed and physically interpreted. Results indicate that some of the variability in the surface transport patterns in the Western Mediterranean can be explained by specific modes which provide an indication of connectivity among sub-basins, like the inflow of Atlantic waters through the Ibiza Channel.

Sayol J-M, Orfila A, Simarro G, López C, Renault L, Galán A, Conti D, in press. Sea surface transport in the Western Mediterranean sea: A Lagrangian perspective,  Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 2013, doi:10.1002/2013JC009243. Article (subscription required).

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