Water masses, sound velocity structure and circulation between the eastern Algerian Basin and the Strait of Sicily in October 1996
The investigation is based on data collected between the eastern Algerian Basin and the Strait of Sicily and in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea. The major pathways of water masses are identified by thecore method and geostrophic currents are derived from the objectively analyzed density field.Between the Sardinia Channel and the Strait of Sicily, the large-scale circulation of Modied AtlanticWater (MAW) and Winter Intermediate Water (WIW) is found to be cyclonic. Inflow into the gyreoccurs via the Sardinia Channel by means of a boundary current attached to the Algerian coast, andfrom the northern Tyrrhenian. The outflow is accomplished via the Strait of Sicily and to theTyrrhenian. The Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW) flow resembles that of MAW/WIW in thesouthern Tyrrhenian, but it is opposed in the Strait of Sicily and off Tunisia. Outflow to the AlgerianBasin occurs south of Sardinia. In the eastern Algerian Basin the flow direction of all water masses iseastward close to the Algerian shelf. Farther oshore, MAW flows mainly southwest whereas the LIWis opposed to that supporting northward transport along the Sardinian shelf. The large-scale flow of all water masses is perturbed by mesoscale eddies. The impact of topographic obstacles is investigated.