The Canary Basin contribution to 26ºN AMOC Seasonality

Thursday, 18 December 2014
María Dolores Pérez-Hernández1, Gerard McCarthy2, David Smeed2, Alonso Hernandez-Guerra1 and Pedro Vélez-Belchí3, (1)Instituto Universitario de Oceanografía y Cambio Global, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, (2)National Oceanography Center, Soton, Southampton, United Kingdom, (3)Spanish Institute of Oceanography, Instituto, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Recent studies have shown that the seasonal transport of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is linked with seasonal density changes in the eastern boundary of the Atlantic. As measured by the RAPID/MOCHA array, the AMOC has a seasonal peak-to-peak value of 6 Sv, with two relative maximums in July and October. The relative maximum in October coincides with the weakest transport of the upper mid-ocean transport (UMO), from the Bahamas to the eastern boundary, whose amplitude is 4 Sv. The seasonally averaged dynamic height indicates that the major source of seasonal variability in the UMO is due to the eastern boundary in fall. Data from the RAPID/MOCHA array at 26ºN is analyzed together with the data from a 15-year mooring between the African coast and the Canary Islands at 28ºN, in the Lanzarote Passage, the so-called Eastern Boundary Current Mooring (EBC4). The seasonal dynamics of the eastern boundary is analyzed: the recirculation of the Canary Current in fall through the Lanzarote Passage, the Rossby wave formation and the wind forcing. Significant correlations are found between the transport through the LP and the UMO. The transport of the North Atlantic Central Water (NACW) as measured by the EBC4 mooring has a correlation of 0.75 at zero lag with the UMO transport, and the transport of the Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) and Mediterranean Water (MW) are correlated 0.77/0.85 respectively, with a lag of one moth with the UMO. The results stress the importance of the eastern boundary in determining the seasonal variability of the AMOC, as measured by the RAPID/MOCHA array.