Transport estimates at the western section of the Strait of Gibraltar: A combined experimental and numerical modeling study

A. Sánchez-Román, G. Sannino, J. García-Lafuente, A. Carillo, F. Criado-Aldeanueva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)


Three-yearlong time series of Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) observations at a single station in Espartel Sill (Strait of Gibraltar) were used to compute an outflow of Q2= -0.82 Sv through the main channel. The cross-strait structure of the velocity field or the outflow through a secondary channel north of the submarine ridge of Majuan in Espartel section is not captured by observations so that an improved version of a numerical model (CEPOM) has been used to fill the observational gap. Previously, the model performance has been checked against historical data sets by comparing harmonic constants of the main diurnal and semidiurnal constituents from observed and modeled data at different sites of the strait. Considering the great complexity of tidal dynamics in the area, the comparison is quite satisfactory and validates the model to infer the exchange at longer timescales. Using a "climatological" April in the simulation, extracting a "single station" from the model at the same position as the monitoring station and processing the data similarly, the model gives an outflow through the southern channel 13% higher than observations. The inclusion of the cross-strait structure of velocity reduces the computed outflow through the southern channel, whereas the contribution of the northern channel brings the total outflow close to that computed using a single station (5% smaller). If the same correction is applied to observations, the total outflow would reduce to Q2= -0.78 Sv. The paper also assesses the importance of eddy fluxes to the total outflow, their contribution being negligible (<5%). Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberC06002
Pages (from-to)-
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Palaeontology

Cite this