Rough ocean surface showing currents. Credit: Peter Gueth

Ocean eddies in South Atlantic

3 May 2004 00:00 UTC

Rough ocean surface showing currents. Credit: Peter Gueth
Rough ocean surface showing currents. Credit: Peter Gueth

Ocean eddies in the South Atlantic in May 2004.

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Published on

03 May 2004

The area south of Africa is particularly interesting to oceanographers. In this area, warm, less saline water from the Indian basin encounters the cooler, saltier water of the Atlantic. Rings and filaments of Indian Ocean water periodically enter the Atlantic via the Agulhas Current which flows to the southwest along the southeastern coast of southern Africa.

The input of Indian Ocean water in to the South Atlantic may be important to ocean circulation and dynamics within the Atlantic basin, and to the circulation of saline water in the oceans as a whole.

Indian Ocean water (warm, high sea level) enters the South Atlantic in filaments and rings south of Africa. These features migrate into the South Atlantic Ocean, where they alter the heat and salt balance of the surrounding water. The exchange of water between the Indian and Atlantic basins at their boundary south of Africa is currently being studied within a project called 'Agulhas-South Atlantic Thermohaline Transport Experiment' (ASTTEX).

Figure 1: Met-8 RGB Composite VIS0.8, IR10.8, IR12.0, 3 May 2004, 14:00 UTC
Figure 1: Meteosat-8 RGB Composite VIS0.8, IR10.8, IR12.0, 3 May 2004, 14:00 UTC
Figure 2: Met-8 RGB Composite VIS0.8, IR3.9r, IR10.8, 3 May 2004, 14:00 UTC
Figure 2: Meteosat-8 RGB Composite VIS0.8, IR3.9r, IR10.8, 3 May 2004, 14:00 UTC
Figure 3: Met-8 Channel 09 (IR10.8), 3 May 2004, 14:00 UTC
Figure 3: Met-8 Channel 09 (IR10.8), 3 May 2004, 14:00 UTC
Figure 4: Ocean & Sea Ice SAF, Atlantic SST product, 3 May 2004, 12:00 UTC
Figure 4: Ocean & Sea Ice SAF, Atlantic SST product, 3 May 2004, 12:00 UTC