|A case study of the mesoscale dynamics in the North-Western Mediterranean Sea: a combined data-model approach |
(Article) Publié: Ocean Dynamics, vol. 63 p.793-808 (2013)
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The Northern current is the main circulation fea- ture of the North-Western Mediterranean Sea. While the large-scale to mesoscale variability of the northern current (NC) is well known and widely documented for the Lig- urian region, off Nice or along the Gulf of Lions shelf, few is known about the current instabilities and its associated mesoscale dynamics in the intermediate area, off Toulon. Here, we took advantage of an oceanographic cruise of opportunity, the start of a HF radar monitoring programme in the Toulon area and the availability of regular satellite sea surface temperature and chlorophyll a data, to evaluate the realism of a NEMO-based regional high-resolution model and the added value brought by HF radar. The combined analysis of a 1/64◦ configuration, named GLAZUR64, and of all data sets revealed the occurrence of an anticyclonic coastal trapped eddy, generated inside a NC meander and passing the Toulon area during the field campaign. We show that this anticyclonic eddy is advected downstream along the French Riviera up to the study region and dis- turbs the Northern current flow. This study aims to show the importance of combining observations and modelling when dealing with mesoscale processes, as well as the importance of high-resolution modelling.