On the discontinuous nature of the Mozambique Current

Lutjeharms, Johann R.E., Biastoch, Arne, Van der Werf, Petra M., Ridderinkhof, Herman and De Ruijter, Wilhelmus P.M. (2012) On the discontinuous nature of the Mozambique Current South African Journal of Science, 108 (1/2). DOI 10.4102/sajs.v108i1/2.428.

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Abstract

The concept of a spatially continuous western boundary current in the Mozambique Channel has historically been based on erroneous interpretations of ships’ drift. Recent observations have demonstrated that the circulation in the Channel is instead dominated by anti-cyclonic eddies drifting poleward. It has therefore been suggested that no coherent Mozambique Current exists at any time. However, satellite and other observations indicate that a continuous current – not necessarily an inherent part of Mozambique Eddies – may at times be found along the full Mozambican shelf break. Using a high-resolution, numerical model we have demonstrated how such a feature may come about. In the model, a continuous current is a highly irregularly occurring event, occurring about once per year, with an average duration of only 9 days and with a vertical extent of about 800 m. Surface speeds may vary from 0.5 m/s to 1.5 m/s and the volume flux involved is about 10 Sv. The continuous current may occasionally be important for the transport of biota along the continental shelf and slope.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Oceanography; Mozambique Current
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.4102/sajs.v108i1/2.428
ISSN: 0038-2353
Projects: Future Ocean
Expeditions/Models:
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2012 09:36
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2016 11:43
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/14713

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