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Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

CFC-113 shows Brazil eddy crossing the South Atlantic to the Agulhas retroflection region

Authors

  • D. Smythe-Wright,

  • A. L. Gordon,

  • P. Chapman,

  • M. S. Jones


Abstract

Using the new ocean tracer CFC-113 and other hydrographic and chemical data, we have identified and “aged” a Brazil eddy transported across the South Atlantic to the Cape Basin. This is the first observation of such an eddy so far east. It was observed during two RRS Discovery cruises in January and May 1993, and, using TOPEX-POSEIDON altimeter data, we have been able to track it between the two locations. TS and nutrient characteristics show that the eddy could not have an eastern Atlantic origin. Comparison with eddies found in the Brazil/Falklands Confluence suggests that this is the most likely source. From the CFC-113:CFC-11 ratio it appears that the eddy is in excess of 4 years old, and from the two sightings and the altimeter data we have estimated a transport rate for the eddy and given credence to the CFC-113:CFC-11 and CFC-113:CFC-12 ageing technique in surface waters.

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