Observations of the florida and yucatan currents from a caribbean cruise ship

Clément Rousset, Lisa M. Beal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The Yucatan and Florida Currents represent the majority of the warm-water return path of the global thermohaline circulation through the tropical/subtropicalNorthAtlanticOcean. Their transports are quantified and compared by analyzing velocity data collected aboard the cruise ship Explorer of the Seas. From 157 crossings betweenMay 2001 andMay 2006, the mean transport of the Florida Current at 26°N was estimated to be 30.8 ± 3.2 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s-1), with seasonal amplitude of 2.9 Sv. Upstream, the Yucatan Current was estimated from 90 crossings to be 30.3 ± 5 Sv, with seasonal amplitude of 2.7 Sv. These two currents are shown to be linked at seasonal time scales. Hence, contrary to former results, it was found that transports through the Florida Straits and the Yucatan Channel are similar, with the implication that only small inflows occur through minor channels between them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1575-1581
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Currents
  • North Atlantic Ocean
  • Ocean circulation
  • Ship observations
  • Thermohaline circulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


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