PICCOLO Maria Cintia
capítulos de libros
Oceanography of the Western South Atlantic continental shelf from 33 ºS to 55ºS.
THE SEA. The Global Coastal Ocean. Regional studies and Syntheses.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Lugar: New York; Año: 1998; p. 253 - 271
The study of continental shelves is irnportant because through the coastal ocean andestuaries, materials are exchanged berween the oceans and continents. From a geophysicalfluid dynamics perspective, esruarine and coastal waters present a rich array of challenging phenomena due to the extreme ranges of density strarificarion and topographic variations encountered there. The continental shelves are notable for their extreme variabilíty, in part due to their responsiveness to the passage of the atrnospheric weather systerns. On the other hand, river runoff, the rneandering boundary currents and synoptíc-rnesoscale eddies of the open ocean impinge on the continental margins, and entrain waters from the coastal oceans are also major variabiliry sources.Conversely, sorne eddies of the apen ocean may origínate from unstable flows in the coastal ocean (Mooers, 1986). The western South Atlantíc continental shelf was first investigated for scientific purposes in the Challenger voyage (1872-1876). Since the expedítions of the Meteor (Wüst, 1932, 1935) and Discovery (Dcacon, 1933, 1937) ine hydrography and thedeep círculatíon of the Aüanuc ocean between 33 and 55°S have been known.Since then, investigations and therefore the observatíonal dala increased. In the last 15 years several studies were performed on the typical water masses, hydrographic characteristics of the shelf and in oceanograpny of the Malvinas and Brazil Currents, mainly in cooperative projects with other countríes (i.e., Garzoli and Bianchi, 1987; Rivas 1993). However, little is known about íts circulation, dynarnícs and physical processes, because of the vast diversity of time and space scales over which processes occur, Therefore. the goal of this review is to provide today's status of the knowledge of the general oceanography and physicat processes in westernSouth Atlantic continental shelf south of 33°S.