Changes in the pattern of water masses resulting from a poleward slope current in the Cantabrian Sea (Bay of Biscay).
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AuthorsGil, J. (Juan)
From September to December 1995, three hydrographic surveys were carried out in the eastern Cantabrian Sea (Bay of Biscay). Changes in the water masses pattern were examined to study the variability and main energetic features in the area. At the beginning of December, an intense Poleward Current (PC), which had come from Portuguese slopes, entered the eastern Cantabrian Sea. This current was the most energetic event in this area in winter. The PC waters increased temperature by about 2 °C (subsurface layers) and salinity by 0.2 (surface layers) in the pattern of water masses in the eastern Cantabrian Sea in winter. The core current was approximately 10 km width and 120 m depth and the water transport, estimated from geostrophic current profiles, was of about 1.3 Sv. A well-defined wavelike front with two significant ridges in the western and eastern sampling area, was observed. The variability and meandering flow of the PC were driven by dominantly baroclinic instabilities, which are ...