Analysis of the mesoscale structure in the IMECOCAL region (off Baja California) from hydrographic, ADCP and altimetry data

Luis Soto-Mardones, Alejandro Parés-Sierra, Joaquín Garcia, Reginaldo Durazo, SAMUEL ERNESTO HORMAZABAL FRITZ

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present geostrophic velocities obtained using hydrographic-altimeter data and direct measurements of currents from 11 cruises offshore of Baja California from January 2000 to July 2002. The study area was dominated by meanders and eddies in geostrophic balance. Two mechanisms of eddy generation were observed; the first associated with the geometry of the coastline, and the second a product of the cooling of the California Current and the California Undercurrent from the South. There were two persistent eddies observed during the study. The first eddy was offshore of Bahía Vizcaíno and had an anticyclonic circulation. Situated in the southern region, the rotation of the second eddy was dependant on which current was first to enter the transition zone along the coast. Spring was a transition period characterized by the formation of meanders. The summer brought a period of eddy generation along the coast. Autumn and winter were marked by a separation of eddies from the coast and their subsequent drift towards the west. The phase velocity of the mesoscale eddies was in accordance with the theory of the linear propagation of a Rossby wave.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-798
Number of pages14
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Volume51
Issue number6-9
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

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