Signatures of the Mediterranean outflow from a North Atlantic climatology 1. Salinity and density fields
Using historical data from the National Oceanic Data Center, the climatology of the eastern North Atlantic basin has been investigated for the purpose of detailing the Mediterranean outflow water in terms of its salinity, density, and flow patterns. Part 1 of this work is a descriptive analysis of the fate of the Mediterranean Water once it flows out of the Strait of Gibraltar. Tracing the salinity and density signatures, high-resolution maps of the climatological outflow are presented, with an emphasis on the continuity of the water from its source. From the climatological fields a continuous signal of Mediterranean Water is tracked northward to ∼50°20′N, yet its westward advection is limited to the Tagus Basin. Recirculations of Mediterranean Water in the Gulf of Cadiz and in the Bay of Biscay, deduced from property signals, are also detailed. Iorga and Lozier [this issue] present absolute velocity fields from a diagnostic model constrained by geostrophic dynamics, conservation of mass, and no-flux boundary conditions. Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.
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