Measurements of storm and nonstorm circulation in the northern Adriatic: October 2002 Through April 2003



[1] Fifteen bottom-mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers were deployed from October 2002 through April 2003 in the northern Adriatic Sea. Average transport from the portion of the Western Adriatic Current (WAC) along the Italian slope was 0.1470 ± 0.0043 Sv, punctuated by bursts of more than twice that amount during storm events. Monthly means were calculated with times of strong wind-driven circulation excluded. These suggest a 2002/2003 seasonal separation consisting of October, December through February, and March through April. An extreme Po River flood influenced November conditions making seasonal categorization difficult. October generally had more kinetic energy and more vertical structure than other months, and near-inertial waves were more frequent in April and October. The Eastern Adriatic Current (EAC)/WAC (i.e. inflow/outflow) system was clearly present in the means for all months. The cyclonic gyre north of the Po River was present October through February. Generally, in the WAC, over 50% of kinetic energy came from vertically uniform monthly mean flows. Elsewhere, eddy kinetic energy was stronger than mean kinetic energy with 10–40% contributions for vertically uniform monthly mean flows, 40–60% for vertically uniform monthly varying flows, and 10–30% for vertically varying monthly varying flows. Mean currents for bora storms indicate enhancement of the EAC/WAC and the cyclonic northern gyre, a shift toward Kvarner Bay in EAC direction, a circulation null point south of the Po, and double-gyre bifurcation of flow at Istria. Strengthening of both the EAC and WAC also occurs during sirocco storms.