An Observational Study of Oceanic Eddy Generation Mechanisms by Tall Deep‐Water Islands (Gran Canaria)
Oceanic eddy generation by tall deep-water islands is common phenomenon. It is recognized that these eddies may have a significant impact on the marine system and related biogeochemical fluxes. Hence, it is important to establish favourable conditions for their generation. With this objective, we present an observational study on eddy generation mechanisms by tall deep-water islands, using as a case study the island of Gran Canaria. Observations show that the main generation mechanism is topographic forcing, which leads to eddy generation when the incident oceanic flow is sufficiently intense. Wind shear at the island wake may acts only as an additional eddy-generation trigger mechanism when the impinging oceanic flow is not sufficiently intense. For the case of the island of Gran Canaria we have observed a mean of ten generated cyclonic eddies per year. Eddies are more frequently generated in summer coinciding with intense Trade winds and Canary Current.
Type: Staff Publications
Year of publication: 2009
Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters