Synoptic study of warm rings in the North Brazil Current retroflection region using satellite altimetry

Gustavo J. Goni, William E. Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Ten years of altimeter data are used in conjunction with temperature and salinity data within a two-layer reduced gravity approximation to investigate the shedding and translation of North Brazil Current rings. Space-time diagrams of sea height anomalies and residues along the altimeter groundtracks show large seasonal and interannual variability. Results presented here confirm previous estimates that indicate a shedding rate of 3 to 7 rings per year with no marked seasonal variability but with very strong year-to-year variability. Additionally, eddies not shed by the retroflection travel through the region as well. Most of the rings pass very near of Barbados, affecting the environment in the region, of which seven rings during the study period are seen to enter into the Caribbean Sea. A link is found in this study between long-term surface temperature changes in the tropical Atlantic and the number of rings shed at the NBC retroflection, where periods of time with warmer surface temperatures are associated to a higher number of rings shed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-356
Number of pages22
JournalElsevier Oceanography Series
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography

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