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Evidence that the Natal Pulse involves the Agulhas Current to its full depth

Lutjeharms, J.R.E., Boebel, O., van der Vaart, P.C.F., de Ruijter, W.P.M., Rossby, T. and Bryden, H. (2001) Evidence that the Natal Pulse involves the Agulhas Current to its full depth Geophysical Research Letters, 28, (18), pp. 3449-3452.

Record type: Article


Natal Pulses are intermittent, solitary meanders on the trajectory of the otherwise remarkably stable northern Agulhas Current. They play disparate roles in the process of inter-ocean exchange. They have been thought to trigger the spawning of Agulhas Rings at the Agulhas Retroflection, but also to generate an upstream retroflection that prevents Agulhas water from reaching the inter-ocean boundary. For the Natal Pulse to be such a control it has to extend to considerable depths. We present the first hard evidence that demonstrates that the Natal Pulse is indeed an inherent property of the Agulhas Current throughout its full depth. Our data comprise Eulerian current meter observations and Lagrangian float trajectories in combination with sea-surface height and sea-surface temperature data. The results reveal the trapping of water within the Natal Pulse, its southward advection at a phase speed of about 11-12 cm s - 1, and rotation periods of 6 days.

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Published date: 2001
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science


Local EPrints ID: 12599
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: cc3857f0-4245-49c6-a459-5d94d08b3062
ORCID for H. Bryden: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 26 Nov 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:02

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Author: J.R.E. Lutjeharms
Author: O. Boebel
Author: P.C.F. van der Vaart
Author: W.P.M. de Ruijter
Author: T. Rossby
Author: H. Bryden ORCID iD

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