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Eddies around Madagascar - the retroflection re-considered

By Graham D. Quartly, Justin J.H. Buck, Meric A. Srokosz and Andrew C. Coward

Abstract

The Agulhas Current with its retroflection and attendant eddy-shedding is the cause of some of the greatest mesoscale variability in the ocean. This paper considers the area to the south and east of Madagascar, which provides some of the source waters of the Agulhas Current, and examines the propagating sea surface height signals in altimetry and output from a numerical model, OCCAM. Both show bands of variability along the axis of the East Madagascar Current (EMC) and along a zonal band near 25°S. Sequences of images plus associated temperature data suggest that a number of westward-propagating eddies are present in this zonal band. The paper then focuses on the region to the south of the island, where ocean colour and infra-red imagery are evocative of an East Madagascar Retroflection. The synthesis of data analysed in this paper, however, show that remotely observed features in this area can be explained by anticyclonic eddies moving westward through the region, and this explanation is consistent with numerical model output and the trajectories of drifting buoys

Topics: GC
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:41440
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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