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Meanders and long waves in the equatorial Atlantic

Nature volume 257, pages 280284 (25 September 1975) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Observations from the GATE Equatorial Oceanographic Experiment are presented. They reveal large scale meandering of the westward flowing South Equatorial Current and of the eastward flowing Equatorial Undercurrent with time scales of 2–3 weeks. Meandering of the flow pattern was found to be related to corresponding displacements of the high salinity core of the undercurrent. The observations tend to support the assumption of a long wave propagating westward with a phase speed of 2.3 m s−1 and a wavelength of 3,200 km. A possible explanation may be given in terms of unstable waves caused by large scale horizontal shear in the Equatorial Current System.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. University of Miami

    • W. Düing
  2. ORSTOM-CRO, Abidjan

    • P. Hisard
  3. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    • E. Katz
  4. University of Kiel

    • J. Meincke
  5. University of Rhode Island

    • L. Miller
    •  & R. Weisberg
  6. USSR Academy of Sciences

    • K. V. Moroshkin
  7. World Meteorological Organization

    • G. Philander
  8. State Oceanographic Institute, Moscow

    • A. A. Ribnikov
  9. GDR Academy of Sciences

    • K. Voigt

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/257280a0

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