Accession Number : ADA296855

Title :   SOFAR Float Trajectories in the Tropical Atlantic 1989-1992.

Descriptive Note : Technical rept.,

Corporate Author : WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA

Personal Author(s) : Richardson, Philip L. ; Zemanovic, Marquerite E. ; Wooding, Christine M. ; Schmitz, William J., Jr

PDF Url : ADA296855

Report Date : SEP 1994

Pagination or Media Count : 194

Abstract : Neutrally buoyant SOFAR floats at nominal depths of 800 m, 1800 m, and 3300 m were tracked acoustically for 3.7 years in the vicinity of the western boundary and the equator of the Atlantic Ocean. Trajectories and summaries from the whole experiment are shown along with detailed trajectories from the second setting of the listening stations, October 1990 to September 1992. Some highlights are mentioned below. Trajectories at 1800 m revealed a swift, narrow southward flowing deep western boundary current (DWBC) extending from 7N across the equator. Two floats directly crossed the equator in the DWBC and went to 105. Two other floats left the DWBC near the equator and drifted eastward. Three floats entered the DWBC from the equatorial current system and drifted southward. No obvious DWBC or swift equatorial currents were observed by the 3300 m floats. The 800 m floats plus some surface drifters measured seven anticyclonic eddies as they translated northwestward along the coast of South America in a band from the equator to 12N. One of the floats (28) entered the Caribbean where tracking stopped. This float was again tracked as it drifted across the mid-Atlantic Ridge and entered the Canary Basin near 34N 28 W after a gap of 2.7 years. We infer that this float went westward through the Caribbean and northeastward in the Gulf Stream. Float 17 drifted northward from 1ON to 22N in an eastern boundary current off the coast of West Africa. Floats between 6N-65 (roughly) drifted long distances zonally in the equatorial current system. (MM)

Descriptors :   *OCEAN CURRENTS, *FLOATS, *ACOUSTIC TRACKING, EQUATORIAL REGIONS, EDDIES(FLUID MECHANICS), MASS FLOW, DRIFT, TROPICAL REGIONS, ATLANTIC OCEAN, TRAJECTORIES, WATER MASSES, BUOYANCY, LATITUDE, LONGITUDE.

Subject Categories : Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
      Marine Engineering
      Acoustic Detection and Detectors

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE