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Authors: Dobricic, S.* 
Pinardi, N.* 
Testor, P.* 
Send, U.* 
Title: Ionian Sea circulation as clarified by assimilation of glider observations
Issue Date: 2008
Keywords: Ionian Sea circulation
glider observations
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.01. Atmosphere::01.01.08. Instruments and techniques 
Abstract: Glider observations of temperature and salinity in the Ionian Sea (Eastern Mediterranean Sea), made in the period October 2004-December 2004, were assimilated into an operational forecasting model together with other in-situ and satellite observations. The impact of glider data on the estimation of the circulation is studied and it is found that the assimilation of glider data significantly improve the vertical structure of temperature and salinity fields and remove biases. The accurate representation of the dynamical structures due to the assimilation of glider data allowed a detailed analysis of the dynamics of the Atlantic Ionian Stream (AIS). During autumn and in the Sicily Strait, the AIS is strengthened by the positive but weak wind stress curl near the southern Sicilian coast and by the temperature gradient between the warm surface mixed layer and the cold upwelled waters near Sicily. In winter the change of position of the wind stress curl zero line and the cooling of the surface mixed layer forces the AIS to shift southward in the Ionian Sea. The AIS is shown for the first time to pinch off an eddy in the Ionian Sea.
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