DATE2018-05-20 08:16:01
AUTHORSN Pinardi (1), P Cessi (2), F Borile (1)
  1. University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  2. Scripps Insitution of Oceanography, LaJolla, USA
ABSTRACTThe Mediterranean Sea overturning circulation is composed of both zonal and meridional cells, interacting among themselves and creating an active vertical circulation. A new 27 years eddy resolving reanalysis from the Copernicus Marine Environment Service is used to diagnose the eulerian and residual overturning circulations of the Mediterranean Sea. The zonal overturning cell of the Mediterranean Sea is known from Wust (1961) and connects the Gibraltar Strait inflow/outflow system to the intermediate and deep water formation regions of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Here, we map for the first time the eulerian and residual zonal streamfunction and show that the upper zonal anticyclonic cell is affected by both the mean and eddy dcirculation originating in the Aegean Sea. The basin-wide meridional overturning circulation is structured around two cells: the first is a multi-centered anticyclonic cell, dominating the intermediate water column and located in the top 1000 m. The second is cyclonic, located in the deep and abyssal regions. The intermediate water column, multi-centered anticyclonic circulation is connected to the different deep ocean formation areas in the basin. In the Eastern Mediterranean there are two anticyclonic cells: a weaker overturning cell connected to the Adriatic Sea and a stronger one connected to the northern Levantine regions and the Aegean Sea. The dynamical nature of the anticyclonic and cyclonic meridional cells differs between the Western and Eastern Mediterranean basins with important contributions from the eddy transport components of the residual circulation. The horizontal and vertical structure of the basin circulation is synthesized in a new scheme of the Mediterranean Sea overturning circulation.