A model study of the Angola Benguela Frontal Zone: Sensitivity to atmospheric forcing

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Abstract

[1] A regional ocean model is applied to the tropical South East Atlantic Ocean in order to investigate the sensitivity of the intensity and position of the Angola Benguela Frontal Zone. The results suggest that the position of the Angola Benguela Frontal Zone is mainly determined by opposing northward and southward flow within 2 degrees off the coast. The windstress curl plays a major role in altering the position of the Angola Benguela Frontal Zone, as it controls the southeastward flow of the South Equatorial Counter Current. The opposing northward flow is mainly the result of geostrophic adjustment to coastal upwelling driven by the meridional windstress. The strength of the frontal zone is found to be related to the strength of the southerly windstress that controls the coastal upwelling.

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