International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
ICES Marine Science Symposia - Volume 219 - 2003 - Part 09 of 75.pdf (4.51 MB)

Large-scale hydroclimatic variability in the Bay of Biscay: the 1990s in the context of interdecadal changes

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posted on 2023-06-20, 11:51 authored by Benjamin Planque, Pierre Beillois, Anne-Marie Jégou, Pascal Lazure, Pierre Petitgas, Ingrid Puillat

On its western side, the Bay of Biscay is located at the limit between the North Atlan­tic sub-polar and subtropical gyres, while the eastern and southern sides are bounded by land with a large continental shelf to the east and a narrow one to the south. The sharp continental slope results in a separation between hydrological processes taking place on and off the shelf. On the shelf, mesoscale hydrodynamic features, such as coastal upwellings, river plumes, and freshwater lenses, mostly depend upon regional climate forcing rather than upon the general oceanic circulation. Here, we review how three key regional climate and hydrological forcing factors (sea surface temperature, windspeed and river run-off) have varied during the past decade in comparison with multi-decadal historical records. The 1990s were characterized by warmer temperature and windier conditions than during the previous century, while the river run-off is slightly lower than average and highly variable. The Bay of Biscay lies between two regions where the responses to the North Atlantic Oscillation are opposite, and, as a result, it is expected that the NAO would only account for a very small fraction of the variability observed in temperature, windspeed, and river run-off in this region. Our results confirm this hypothesis.Description not yet available.

Article from Marine Science Symposia Vol. 219 - "Hydrobiological variability in the ICES Area, 1990-1999", symposium held in Edinburgh, 8-10 August 2001. To access  the remaining articles please click on the keyword "MSS Vol. 219". 



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Recommended citation

Planque, B., Beillois, P., Jégou, A.-M., Lazure, P., Petitgas, P., and Puillat, I. 2003. Large-scale hydroclimatic variability in the Bay of Biscay: the 1990s in the context of interdecadal changes. ICES Marine Science Symposia, 219: 61-70.