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Tyrrhenian Sea circulation and water mass fluxes in spring 2004: Observations and model results

TitleTyrrhenian Sea circulation and water mass fluxes in spring 2004: Observations and model results
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsVetrano, A., Napolitano Ernesto, Iacono Roberto, Schroeder K., and Gasparini G.P.
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Date PublishedJan-01-2010
KeywordsActive regions, Box models, Circulation patterns, Comparative studies, comparative study, Current measurements, Dynamical structure, Electric current measurement, High resolution, In-situ measurement, Mediterranean Sea, Mesoscale, Model results, Ocean currents, oceanic circulation, Primitive equations, Princeton ocean model, qualitative analysis, Qualitative assessments, Quantitative estimation, spatial resolution, Spatial variability, spatial variation, Tyrrhenian Sea, water mass, Water mass flux

Hydrological and current measurements, collected in the Tyrrhenian Sea during May-June 2004, are analyzed with an inverse box model (IBM) to establish the mean circulation patterns of the basin during spring 2004. These patterns are compared with those provided by a high-resolution, primitive equation model (the Princeton ocean model, or POM) implemented over the area to simulate the mean basin circulation during the survey. The good agreement between the two circulation fields, despite the differences and the respective limitations of the employed methods, represents solid evidence for the reliability of the estimated dynamical structures. Moreover, thePOMreveals the short spatial variability of the basin not always resolved by IBM because of the low spatial resolution of the in situ measurements. The comparative study indicates the Tyrrhenian basin as an extremely active region of the Mediterranean Sea, characterized by a rich mesoscale dynamics. This work provides, for the first time after more than 25 years, a novel qualitative assessment of the Tyrrhenian Sea spring circulation, together with a robust quantitative estimation of the water mass stream fluxes inside the basin and of the exchanges with the adjacent regions. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.


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Short TitleJ. Geophys. Res.
Citation KeyVetrano2010