A study of the Alboran sea mesoscale system by means of empirical orthogonal function decomposition of satellite data

A. Baldacci, G. Corsini, R. Grasso, G. Manzella, J.T. Allen, P. Cipollini, T.H. Guymer, H.M. Snaith

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This paper presents the results of a combined empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sea surface temperature (SST) data and sea-viewing wide field-of-view sensor (SeaWiFS) chlorophyll concentration data over the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean), covering a period of 1 year (November 1997-October 1998). The aim of this study is to go beyond the limited temporal extent of available in situ measurements by inferring the temporal and spatial variability of the Alboran Gyre system from long temporal series of satellite observations, in order to gain insight on the interactions between the circulation and the biological activity in the system. In this context, EOF decomposition permits concise and synoptic representation of the effects of physical and biological phenomena traced by SST and chlorophyll concentration. Thus, it is possible to focus the analysis on the most significant phenomena and to understand better the complex interactions between physics and biology at the mesoscale. The results of the EOF analysis of AVHRR-SST and SeaWiFS-chlorophyll concentration data are presented and discussed in detail. These improve and complement the knowledge acquired during the in situ observational campaigns of the MAST-III Observations and Modelling of Eddy scale Geostrophic and Ageostrophic motion (OMEGA) Project. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293 - 311
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Marine Systems
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Baldacci, A., Corsini, G., Grasso, R., Manzella, G., Allen, J. T., Cipollini, P., ... Snaith, H. M. (2001). A study of the Alboran sea mesoscale system by means of empirical orthogonal function decomposition of satellite data. Journal of Marine Systems, 29(1-4), 293 - 311. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-7963(01)00021-5