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Research Spotlight: The traveling rings of the North Brazil Current

Authors


Abstract

[1] The North Brazil Current (NBC) moves northward along the northeastern coast of Brazil. Drawing from the South Equatorial Current and the outflow of freshwater from the Amazon River, the NBC carries warm, nutrient-rich water north of the equator. Up near the coast of French Guiana, part of the NBC makes a hard right, flowing east along the equator. Once in a while the turn is especially sharp and the current loops around, pinching off an independently traveling parcel of ocean water. This portion of current travels northwest with a clockwise rotation, moving through the ocean like a Frisbee™ travels through air. (Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, doi:10.1029/2010JC006575, 2011)