High-resolution shipboard surveys of four North Brazil Current rings are presented, which are the first such dedicated surveys to be made of these features. Of the four rings surveyed, three fundamentally different types of ring structures are found: (1) a shallow, surface-trapped structure with velocities confined to the top 200 m (two rings), (2) a deep-reaching structure with significant swirl velocities (∼0.2 m/s) extending to 2000 m (one ring), and (3) a thermocline-intensified structure with almost no detectable surface signature (one ring). The results of this study indicate that North Brazil Current rings can have highly variable vertical structures, and that assessing their overall role in cross gyre exchange in the tropical Atlantic will require a careful combination of remote sensing and in-situ observations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)