Interannual variability of the Azores Current strength and eddy energy in relation to atmospheric forcing

Denis L. Volkov, Lee Lueng Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spaceborne observations of sea surface topography have revealed a significant interannual variability of the Azores Current strength and eddy energy. The objective of this paper is to establish the relationship between these variations and atmospheric forcing over the subtropical North Atlantic. Based on satellite altimetry, hydrography, and atmospheric reanalysis products, it is demonstrated that the interannual variability of the Azores Current eastward velocity and eddy energy may be driven by the adjustment of the ocean to the strength of westerly and trade winds, modulated by the North Atlantic Oscillation. Surface intensification (frontogenesis), which is mainly due to the wind-driven meridional Ekman current convergence, is found significant, but not sufficient to explain the observed interannual variability of the Azores Current strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberC11011
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume116
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Oceanography

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