Data collected as part of the Arlindo Project ("Arlindo" is an acronym for Arus Lintas Indonesia, meaning "throughflow" in Bahasa Indonesia) from October 1996 to March 1998 are analyzed to study the characteristics of the flow through the Makassar Strait. Analysis of inverted echo sounders (IES) and bottom pressure data (PIES) combined with TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite-derived sea height anomaly suggest that a minimum of three-layer approximation is necessary to explain the dynamics of the flow in the Makassar Strait. The simple two-layer model used in several studies of the throughflow is rejected based on total incompatibility with the data sets. A three-layer model with significant contributions by the middle layer provides a consistent interpretation of PIES and satellite data. Results are interpreted in the framework of the large-scale circulation.
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