Origins and variability of the Benguela Current


  • S. L. Garzoli,

  • A. L. Gordon


A subset of the Benguela Sources and Transports (BEST) 1992–1993 data is analyzed to study the magnitude and variability of the large scale transports in the area. The data consist of inverted echo sounder series and conductivity-temperature-depth stations. The mean 16 month transport values for the upper 1000 m indicate that, of the 13-Sv northward transport within the Benguela Current, 50% is derived from the central Atlantic (which from geometry may be chiefly South Atlantic water), 25% comes from the Indian Ocean (which may be chiefly Agulhas water), and the remaining 25% may be a blend of Agulhas and tropical Atlantic water. A simple schematic of the transport pattern with a somewhat restricted corridor for Agulhas eddies translation is envisioned. To the west of the eddy corridor flows the South Atlantic source for the Benguela Current; to the east is the Agulhas (Indian Ocean) source. The corridor is breached by South Atlantic and Indian water as the transient eddy field stirs these water masses.