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14 January 2002 Barotropic and baroclinic currents in the Strait of Otranto (southern Adriatic Sea)
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Abstract
In this note the winter presence of a tongue of cold water turning around the Apulia Peninsula, in Southern Adriatic Sea, is analyzed. Autumn and winter satellite thermal images indeed show that often cold water masses occupying the western part of the Strait of Otranto, where the bottom depth is about 800m, tend to flow clockwise apparently following the isobaths around Cape S. Maria di Leuca and finally intrude into the Gulf of Taranto. These images are here compared with CTD casts and current meter observations made during the same period, and also with some drifter surface measurements. A deepening of the surface current, and its peculiar locking into a current of Mediterranean Dense Water flowing geo strophically over the sea bottom, is also discussed as a kind of barotropic reconstruction for these clearly baroclinic flows. Theoretical considerations allow to gain some insight into these currents and their potential vorticity evolution.
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Ettore Salusti and Roberta Serravall "Barotropic and baroclinic currents in the Strait of Otranto (southern Adriatic Sea)", Proc. SPIE 4544, Remote Sensing of the Ocean and Sea Ice 2001, (14 January 2002); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.452756
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