A Numerical Study of the Magellan Plume

Authors
Palma, Elbio Daniel; Matano, Ricardo
Publication Year
2012
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
In this modeling study we investigate the dynamical mechanisms controlling the spreading of the Magellan Plume, which is a low-salinity tongue that extends along the Patagonian Shelf. Our results indicate that the overall characteristics of the plume (width, depth, spreading rate, etc.) are primarily influenced by tidal forcing, which manifests through tidal mixing and tidal residual currents. Tidal forcing produces a homogenization of the plume’s waters and an offshore displacement of its salinity front. The interaction between tidal and wind-forcing reinforces the downstream and upstream buoyancy transports of the plume. The influence of the Malvinas Current on the Magellan Plume is more dominant north of 50S, where it increases the along-shelf velocities and generates intrusions of saltier waters from the outer shelf, thus causing a reduction of the downstream buoyancy transport. Our experiments also indicate that the northern limit of the Magellan Plume is set by a high salinity discharge from the San Matias Gulf. Sensitivity experiments show that increments of the wind stress cause a decrease of the downstream buoyancy transport and an increase of the upstream buoyancy transport. Variations of the magnitude of the discharge produce substantial modifications in the downstream penetration of the plume and buoyancy transport. The Magellan discharge generates a northeastward current in the middle shelf, a recirculation gyre south of the inlet and a region of weak currents father north.
Fil: Palma, Elbio Daniel. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Bahía Blanca. Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía. Universidad Nacional del Sur. Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía; Argentina. Universidad Nacional del Sur; Argentina
Fil: Matano, Ricardo. Oregon State University; Estados Unidos
Subject
MAGELLAN PLUME
NUMERICAL MODEL
PATAGONIAN SHELF
LOW SALINITY PLUMES
Oceanografía, Hidrología, Recursos Hídricos
Ciencias de la Tierra y relacionadas con el Medio Ambiente
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Open access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/20197