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Ciencias marinas

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3880

Resumen

ATHIE, G et al. Yucatán Current variability through the Cozumel and Yucatán channels. Cienc. mar [online]. 2011, vol.37, n.4a, pp. 471-492. ISSN 0185-3880.

A comparison based on eight months of simultaneous observations of the flow variability in the Yucatan and Cozumel channels shows that the portion of the Yucatan Current that crosses through Cozumel Channel is best correlated with the flow near the center of the Yucatan Channel within the core of the Yucatan Current (defined here as velocities in excess of 0.6 m s-1). The core has a mean transport of 9 Sv, which is about 40% of that measured for the entire Yucatan Channel cross section. The position of maximum current velocity oscillates within the mean core position in the Yucatan Channel, shifting eastward when the current intensifies in Cozumel Channel and westward when it weakens, indicative of a current behavior dominated by inertia instead of topographic control. Mesoscale features, possibly eddies passing through the region, seem to couple the variability in both channels, giving a plausible explanation for the observed current patterns.

Palabras llave : Yucatan Current; channel dynamics; Cozumel Channel; empirical orthogonal functions.

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