The Levantine Basin circulation derived from recent data consists of a series of sub-basin-scale to mesoscale eddies interconnected by jets. The basin-scale circulation is masked by eddy variability that modulates and modifies it on seasonal and interannual time scales. Long-term qualitative changes in the circulation are reflected in the bifurcation pattterns of ther mid-basin jets, relative strengths of eddies and the hydrographic properties at the core of these eddies. Confinement within the Basin geometry strongly influences the co-evolution of the circulation features. Surface measurements, satellite images and the mass field indicate an entire range of scales of dynamical features in the region. The complexity of the circulation is consistent with the basin-wide and mesoscale heterogeneity of the hydrographic properties. The interannual variability of LIW (Levantine Intermediate Water) formation in the region appears correlated with the changes in the circulation. Wintertime convective overturning of water masses reach intermediate depths and constitute a dominant mechanism of LIW formation, especially in anticyclonic eddies and along the coasts of the northern Levantine Basin.
|Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
|Published - 1993