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Open AccessArticle

Sea Surface Circulation Structures in the Malta-Sicily Channel from Remote Sensing Data

1
Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale—OGS, 34010 Sgonico (TS), Italy
2
TRIL Programme, Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics—ICTP, 34151 Trieste, Italy
3
Department of Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School—NPS, Monterey, CA 93943, USA
4
Physical Oceanography Research Group, Department of Geosciences, University of Malta, 2080 Msida, Malta
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081589
Received: 20 June 2019 / Revised: 17 July 2019 / Accepted: 25 July 2019 / Published: 31 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Exchange and Circulation)
The Malta-Sicily Channel is part of the Sicily Channel system where water and thermohaline properties between the Eastern and Western Mediterranean basins take place. Several mesoscales features are detached from the main circulation due to wind and bathymetric forcing. In this paper, surface circulation structures are studied using different remotely sensed datasets: satellite data (absolute dynamic topography, Cross-Calibrated Multi-Platform wind vector analysis, satellite chlorophyll and sea surface temperature) and high frequency radar data. We identified high frequency motions (at short time scales—hours to days), as well as mesoscale structures fundamental for the understanding of the Malta-Sicily Channel circulation dynamics. One of those is the Malta-Sicily Gyre; an anticyclonic structure trapped between the Sicilian and Maltese coasts, which is poorly studied in the literature and often confused with the Malta Channel Crest and the Ionian Shelf Break Vortex. In order to characterize this gyre, we calculated its kinetic properties taking advantage of the fine-scale temporal and spatial resolution of the high frequency radar data, and thus confirming its presence with an updated version of the surface circulation patterns in the area. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; high frequency radar; Malta-Sicily Channel; Malta Sicily Gyre; surface circulation remote sensing; high frequency radar; Malta-Sicily Channel; Malta Sicily Gyre; surface circulation
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Reyes Suarez, N.C.; Cook, M.S.; Gačić, M.; Paduan, J.D.; Drago, A.; Cardin, V. Sea Surface Circulation Structures in the Malta-Sicily Channel from Remote Sensing Data. Water 2019, 11, 1589.

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