Barotropic response of north Patagonian gulfs in Argentina to tidal and wind forcing

Mariano H. Tonini, Elbio D. Palma


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3856/vol39-issue3-fulltext-9

This work presents the results of a high resolution three dimensional non-linear barotropic hydrodynamic model used to examine the response of three north Patagonian gulfs in Argentina (San Matías, SMG; Nuevo, NG; and San José, SJG) forced by tides and idealized patterns of surface winds. The structure of the circulation induced by the dominant winds (Westerly) in all three gulfs consists of two independent gyres: one anticyclonic gyre in the west with an intense southward coastal flow and weaker return flow in the middle of the gulfs and one cyclonic gyre in the east that, in the SMG's case, connects with the shelf. The other two gulfs (NG and SJG) have much more restricted connections with the exterior. The inclusion of tidal dissipation effects reduces the intensity of the gyres, but the general spatial pattern of the circulation remains. Increasing the wind magnitude mainly intensifies the anticyclonic gyre and the cross-shelf transport through the SMG mouth and deepens the surface Ekman layer. If the gulfs are forced with meridional winds, the circulation splits into two gyres whose sense of circulation depends on the wind direction: a northern cyclonic (anticyclonic) gyre and a southern anticyclonic (cyclonic) gyre for Southerly (Northerly) winds. When the gulfs are forced simultaneously by tides and winds, the residual tidal currents dominates the general circulation and contributes to a greater dynamical isolation of the gulfs from the exterior shelf.

Tonini M, Palma E. Barotropic response of north Patagonian gulfs in Argentina to tidal and wind forcing. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.. 2017;39(3): 481-498. Available from: doi:10.3856/vol39-issue3-fulltext-9 [Accessed 16 Sep. 2019].
Tonini, M., & Palma, E. (2017). Barotropic response of north Patagonian gulfs in Argentina to tidal and wind forcing. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 39(3), 481-498. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3856/vol39-issue3-fulltext-9