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RR15 - Mesoscale dynamics in the Faroese Channels.

Eight satellite tracked drifters were deployed at the southern end of the Faroe Bank Channel, as part of an oceanographic survey to investigate mesoscale variability in the Faroe-Shetland Channel and over the northern slope of the Wyville Thomson ridge. The drifter trajectories showed that the area is characterised by regions associated with different scales of variability. In the Faroe Bank Channel, the motions tended to be sub-mesoscale with little net flow. In the Faroe-Shetland Channel, the surface flow was dominated by the persistent Slope Current on the Scottish slope and baroclinically unstable mesoscale meanders in the Current, of 50-60 km wavelength and a period of one to two weeks. When fully developed, these features influence the circulation throughout the Channel. They have been observed to generate mesoscale eddies of some 40-50 km diameter, which propagate north-east along the Channel.

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Updated 2010-03-19