Upper layer current variability in the Central Ligurian Sea

P. Picco, A. Cappelletti, S. Sparnocchia, M.E. Schiano, S. Pensieri, R. Bozzano

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Long-time series of surface currents and meteorological parameters were analysed to estimate the variability of the upper layer circulation and the response to the local winds. Current meter data were collected by an upward-looking RDI Sentinel 300 kHz ADCP deployed in the Central Ligurian Sea (43°47.77' N; 9°02.85' E) near the meteo-oceanographic buoy ODAS Italia 1 for more than eight months, from 13th of September 2003 to 24th of May 2004. The ADCP sampled the upper 50m of water column at 8m vertical resolution and 1 h time interval; surface marine and atmospheric hourly averaged data were provided by the buoy. Currents in the sampled layer were mainly barotropic, directed North-West in accordance with the general circulation of the area, and had a mean velocity of about 18 cm/s and hourly mean peaks up to 80 cm/s. Most of the observed variability in the upper thermocline was determined by inertial currents and mesoscale activity due to the presence of the Ligurian Front. Local wind had a minor role in the nearsurface circulation but induced internal waves propagating downward in the water column. © 2010 Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825 - 836
Number of pages12
JournalOcean Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Picco, P., Cappelletti, A., Sparnocchia, S., Schiano, M. E., Pensieri, S., & Bozzano, R. (2010). Upper layer current variability in the Central Ligurian Sea. Ocean Science, 6(4), 825 - 836. https://doi.org/10.5194/os-6-825-2010