Articles | Volume 7, issue 3
Research article
15 Jun 2011
Research article |  | 15 Jun 2011

About the seasonal and fortnightly variabilities of the Mediterranean outflow

C. Millot and J. Garcia-Lafuente

Abstract. CTD time series from the HYDRO-CHANGES programme and INGRES projects have been collected simultaneously (2004–2008) on the shelf of Morocco and at the sills of Camarinal and Espartel in the strait of Gibraltar. They provide information that supports results recently obtained from the analysis of the two former time series, as well as from a reanalysis of GIBEX CTD profiles (1985–1986). The outflow of Mediterranean Waters, which does not show a clear seasonal variability before entering the strait, strongly mixes within the strait, due mainly to the internal tide, with the seasonally variable inflow of Atlantic Water. The outflow thus gets marked seasonal and fortnightly variabilities within the strait. Furthermore, since the outflowing waters entering the strait display marked spatial heterogeneity and long-term temporal variabilities, accurately predicting the characteristics of the Mediterranean outflow into the North Atlantic Ocean appears almost impossible.