Marine Science Faculty Publications

Analysis of Volunteer Observing Ship Temperature Fields in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean

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Volunteer observing ship data collected during the FGGE year in 1979 and data from in situ moorings deployed during the SEQUAL/FOCAL experiment in 1983-1984 are used to estimate the dominant temporal and spatial scales of SST varibility in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean. Two-dimensional Fourier transforms show that enhanced energy levels in a wave number and frequency band of 1924-1-825-1 cycles/km and 37-1-21-1 cycles/day respectively, are associated with organized SST structures with wave-like oscillations that are consistent with barotropic instabilities. The oscillations appear on the equator between 1°S and 1°N eastward of 25°W shortly after the springtime intensification of the easterly wind stress and persist into August. They are characterized by a westward phase propagation of about -50 cm/s and a pattern that progresses eastward at approximately 30 cm/s.

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Oceanologica Acta, v. 13, issue 3, p. 257-264

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