New observations of Meddy Movement south of the Tejo Plateau

Walter Zenk, Kathy Schultz Tokos, Olaf Boebel

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Mediterranean salt lenses (meddies) are a dominant factor in the salt budget of the Atlantic at middepth. In spite of their important role, their juvenile migration has not yet been directly observed. For the first time, two RAFOS float trajectories show strong evidence of a meddy along the Iberian continental slope off Lisbon. Over six weeks we obtained drift observations from two levels (629, 847 dbar). Both instruments recorded a series of loops with an azimuthal speed O (30 cm s−1) at a radius of about 25 km. Relatively high propagation speeds of several centimeters per second indicate the meddy was probably carried along with the undercurrent of Mediterranean Water. The Tejo Plateau, a prominent feature of the continental slope and a natural obstacle for the spreading Mediterranean Water tongue, appears to act as a deflector for advected meddies possibly formed by interaction of the undercurrent with the canyon‐rich topography farther south.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2389-2392
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 24 1992


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