In the Mediterranean Sea, where the mean circulation is largely unknown and characterized by smaller scales and less intensity than in the open ocean, the interpretation of altimetric Sea Level Anomalies (SLA) is rather difficult. In the context of operational systems such as MFS (Mediterranean Forecasting System) or MERCATOR, that assimilate the altimetric information, the estimation of a realistic Mean Dynamic Topography (MDT) consistent with altimetric SLA to be used to reconstruct absolute sea level is a crucial issue. A method is developed here to estimate the required MDT combining oceanic observations as altimetric and in-situ measurements and outputs from an ocean general circulation model (OGCM). In a first step, the average over the 1993–1999 period of dynamic topography outputs from MFS OGCM provides a first guess for the computation of the MDT. Then, in a second step, drifting buoy velocities and altimetric data are combined using a synthetic method to obtain local estimates of the mean geostrophic circulation which are then used to improve the first guess through an inverse technique and map the MDT field (hereafter the Synthetic Mean Dynamic Topography or SMDT) on a 1/8° resolution grid. Many interesting current patterns and cyclonic/anticyclonic structures are visible on the SMDTobtained. The main Mediterranean coastal currents are well marked (as the Algerian Current or the Liguro–Provenço–Catalan Current). East of the Sicily channel, the Atlantic Ionian Stream divides into several main branches crossing the Ionian Sea at various latitudes before joining at 19°E into a unique Mid-Mediterranean Jet. Also, strong signatures of the main Mediterranean eddies are obtained (as for instance the Alboran gyre, the Pelops, Ierapetra, Mersa-Matruh or Shikmona anticyclones and the Cretan, Rhodes orWest Cyprius cyclones). Independent in-situ measurements from Sea Campaigns NORBAL in the North Balearic Sea and the North Tyrrhenian Sea and SYMPLEX in the Sicily channel are used to validate locally the SMDT: deduced absolute altimetric dynamic topography compares well with in-situ observations. Finally, the SMDT is used to compute absolute altimetric maps in the Alboran Sea and the Algerian Current. The use of absolute altimetric signal allows to accurately follow the formation and propagation of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies in both areas.

A Mean Dynamic Topography of the Mediterranean Sea computed from altimetric data, in-situ measurements and a general circulation model

Poulain P;Mauri E;
2007

Abstract

In the Mediterranean Sea, where the mean circulation is largely unknown and characterized by smaller scales and less intensity than in the open ocean, the interpretation of altimetric Sea Level Anomalies (SLA) is rather difficult. In the context of operational systems such as MFS (Mediterranean Forecasting System) or MERCATOR, that assimilate the altimetric information, the estimation of a realistic Mean Dynamic Topography (MDT) consistent with altimetric SLA to be used to reconstruct absolute sea level is a crucial issue. A method is developed here to estimate the required MDT combining oceanic observations as altimetric and in-situ measurements and outputs from an ocean general circulation model (OGCM). In a first step, the average over the 1993–1999 period of dynamic topography outputs from MFS OGCM provides a first guess for the computation of the MDT. Then, in a second step, drifting buoy velocities and altimetric data are combined using a synthetic method to obtain local estimates of the mean geostrophic circulation which are then used to improve the first guess through an inverse technique and map the MDT field (hereafter the Synthetic Mean Dynamic Topography or SMDT) on a 1/8° resolution grid. Many interesting current patterns and cyclonic/anticyclonic structures are visible on the SMDTobtained. The main Mediterranean coastal currents are well marked (as the Algerian Current or the Liguro–Provenço–Catalan Current). East of the Sicily channel, the Atlantic Ionian Stream divides into several main branches crossing the Ionian Sea at various latitudes before joining at 19°E into a unique Mid-Mediterranean Jet. Also, strong signatures of the main Mediterranean eddies are obtained (as for instance the Alboran gyre, the Pelops, Ierapetra, Mersa-Matruh or Shikmona anticyclones and the Cretan, Rhodes orWest Cyprius cyclones). Independent in-situ measurements from Sea Campaigns NORBAL in the North Balearic Sea and the North Tyrrhenian Sea and SYMPLEX in the Sicily channel are used to validate locally the SMDT: deduced absolute altimetric dynamic topography compares well with in-situ observations. Finally, the SMDT is used to compute absolute altimetric maps in the Alboran Sea and the Algerian Current. The use of absolute altimetric signal allows to accurately follow the formation and propagation of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies in both areas.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
rio_etal_jms_07.pdf

Riservato

Tipologia: Altro materiale allegato
Licenza: Non specificato
Dimensione 6.78 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
6.78 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/2859
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 128
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 119
social impact