Publication details.


Author(s):A. Rubio, A. Caballero, A. Orfila, I. Hernández-Carrasco, L. Ferrer, M. González, L. Solabarrieta, J. Mader
Title:Eddy-induced cross-shelf export of high Chl-a coastal waters in the SE Bay of Biscay
JCR Impact Factor:8.218
Abstract:© 2017 Elsevier Inc. Different remote sensing data were combined to characterise a winter anticyclonic eddy in the southeastern Bay of Biscay and to infer its effects on cross-shelf exchanges, in a period when typical along shelf-slope currents depict a cyclonic pattern. While the joint analysis of available satellite data (infrared, visible and altimetry) permitted the characterisation and tracking of the anticyclone properties and path, data from a coastal high-frequency radar system enabled a quantitative analysis of the surface cross-shelf transports associated with this anticyclone. The warm core anticyclone had a diameter of around 50 km, maximum azimuthal velocities near 50 cm s− 1 and a relative vorticity of up to −0.45f. The eddy generation occurred after the relaxation of a cyclonic wind-driven current regime over the shelf-slope; then, the eddy remained stationary for several weeks until it started to drift northwards along the shelf break. The surface signature of this eddy was observed by means of high-frequency radar data for 20 consecutive days, providing a unique opportunity to characterise and quantify, from a Lagrangian perspective, the associated transport and its effect on the Chl-a surface distribution. We observed the presence of mesoscale structures with similar characteristics in the area during different winters within the period 2011–2014. Our results suggest that the eddy-induced recurrent cross-shelf export is an effective mechanism for the expansion of coastal productive waters into the adjacent oligotrophic ocean basin.

Related staff

  • Alejandro Orfila Förster
  • Ismael Hernandez Carrasco
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change
  • Related research groups

  • Marine Technologies, Operational and Coastal Oceanography