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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 22, issue 5
Ann. Geophys., 22, 1449–1464, 2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 22, 1449–1464, 2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  08 Apr 2004

08 Apr 2004

Fundamental Adriatic seiche recorded by current meters

N. Leder1 and M. Orlic2 N. Leder and M. Orlic
  • 1Hydrographic Institute of the Republic of Croatia, Zrinsko Frankopanska 161, 21000 Split, Croatia
  • 2Andrija Mohorovičić Geophysical Institute, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Horvatovac bb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Abstract. Currents recorded at two stations positioned at the Adriatic shelf break between 17 February and 6 March 1989 were considered. They provided the first evidence of current variability related to the Adriatic-wide seiches. Current spectra were dominated by a peak at 21.1h – a well-known period of the fundamental Adriatic mode. Amplitudes of oscillations were considerable, occasionally greater than 30cm/s. Both along- and cross-basin currents were recorded, thus signalling the importance of rotational effects. Comparison of the current data with the sea-level measurements performed simultaneously along the east Adriatic coast showed that the 21-h currents flowing in the Adriatic preceded sea levels by a quarter of a cycle, as would be expected from a simple model of bay seiches. Sea-level amplitudes reached 40cm in the North Adriatic, thus marking the event as one of the strongest on record. Seiching was triggered by a suddenly changing sirocco wind, as is usually the case in the Adriatic. The most important features of the seiche event were reproduced with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the Adriatic Sea, forced by the sea-level residuals measured at Otranto and the air pressure and wind data recorded at Lastovo. The model showed that the seiche-related currents were relatively strong in the area where the current measurements were performed and further north – between Zadar and Ancona.

Key words. Oceanography: general (continental shelf processes) – Oceanography: physical (sea-level variations, currents)

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