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Wind influence on surface current variability in the Ibiza Channel from HF Radar
Lana, A.; Marmain, J.; Fernández, V.; Tintore, J.; Orfila, A. (2016). Wind influence on surface current variability in the Ibiza Channel from HF Radar. Ocean Dynamics 66(4): 483-497.
In: Ocean Dynamics. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg; New York. ISSN 1616-7341; e-ISSN 1616-7228, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Surface currents; HF Radar; Mass transport; Wind-current variability;Ibiza Channel; Mediterranean sea

Authors  Top 
  • Lana, A.
  • Marmain, J.
  • Fernández, V.
  • Tintore, J.
  • Orfila, A.

    Surface current variability is investigated using 2.5 years of continuous velocity measurements from an high frequency radar (HFR) located in the Ibiza Channel (Western Mediterranean Sea). The Ibiza Channel is identified as a key geographical feature for the exchange of water masses but still poorly documented. Operational, quality controlled, HFR derived velocities are provided by the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB). They are assessed by performing statistical comparisons with current-meter, ADCP, and surface lagrangian drifters. HFR system does not show significant bias, and its accuracy is in accordance with previous studies performed in other areas. The main surface circulation patterns are deduced from an EOF analysis. The first three modes represent almost 70 % of the total variability. A cross-correlation analysis between zonal and meridional wind components and the temporal amplitudes of the first three modes reveal that the first two modes are mainly driven by local winds, with immediate effects of wind forcing and veering following Ekman effect. The first mode (37 % of total variability) is the response of meridional wind while the second mode (24 % of total variability) is linked primarily with zonal winds. The third and higher order modes are related to mesoscale circulation features. HFR derived surface transport presents a markedly seasonal variability being mostly southwards. Its comparison with Ekman-induced transport shows that wind contribution to the total surface transport is on average around 65 %.

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