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AGU Journal Highlights -- March 19, 2008
Date:3/19/2008

land, where it meets the cold Labrador Current, it turns and flows north for roughly 1 of latitude. This branch of the Gulf Stream is called the North Atlantic Current (NAC). At 51N, the NAC abruptly turns east from Newfoundland, broadens, and slows down. Noting that at this turning point the NAC sheds anticyclonic eddies every few months, Woityra and Rossby analyze 10 years of satellite data to measure the size and exact formation rate of these eddies. Using an energy budget approach, they find that eddy formation is a natural result of the slowing, broadening NAC. The authors hypothesize that as eddies form, severe heat loss due to their exposed position in the southern Labrador Sea causes the water within the eddies to sink. Once they are isolated from the surface, they may survive for years as indicated by their findings south and west in the Sargasso Sea.

Title: Current broadening as a mechanism for anticyclogenesis at the northwest corner of the North Atlantic Current

Authors: Willian Woityra: Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, U.S.A.; now at U.S. Coast Guard, International Ice Patrol, Groton, Connecticut, U.S.A.;

T. Rossby: Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, U.S.A.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2007GL033063, 2008; http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GL033063


10. Plate tectonics in the East African Rift

Although the East African Rift (EAR) is often cited as a modern archetype for rifting and continental breakup, it remains the least understood of all major plate boundaries. In particular, the rate of plate divergence across it, how this divergence is accommodated within the rift, and how the rift connects farther south with the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) remain to be determined. Information needed to solve this pr
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Contact: Peter Weiss
pweiss@agu.org
202-777-7507
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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