Mesoscale eddies are energetically dominant over most of the world's ocean1. The local dynamics of eddies is now a central problem of physical oceanography2 and their statistics control aspects of the general circulation3. The horizontal scale of eddies is generally related to, but somewhat larger, than the Rossby internal deformation radius (the depth scale multiplied by the buoyancy frequency divided by the Coriolis frequency). In the eastern Mediterranean, which is not well explored or understood, the internal radius is known to be 12 km or 4 times smaller than in the North Atlantic. The study of such eddies requires very fine sampling which hinders their accidental discovery. By using a dedicated data set and objective analysis methods, we have estab-ished the existence of small synoptic/mesoscale eddies and jets, which constitute a variable and turbulent current regime and dominate the general circulation flow of the Levantine basin. Their existence in the Mediterranean has an impact on all aspects of basic and applied marine science there, both conceptually and with respect to experimental and monitoring programme designs.
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