Marine Rapid Environmental Assessment in the Gulf of Taranto: a multiscale approach
A multiscale sampling experiment was carried out in the Gulf of Taranto (eastern Mediterranean) providing the first synoptic evidence of the large-scale circulation structure and associated mesoscale variability. The mapping of the mesoscale and large-scale geostrophic circulation showed the presence of an anticyclonic large-scale gyre occupying the central open ocean area of the Gulf of Taranto. On the periphery of the gyre upwelling is evident where surface waters are colder and saltier than at the center of the gyre. Over a 1-week period, the rim current of the gyre undergoes large changes which are interpreted as baroclinic–barotropic instabilities, generating small-scale cyclonic eddies in the periphery of the anticyclone. The eddies are generally small, one of which can be classified as a submesoscale eddy due to its size. This eddy field modulates the upwelling regime in the gyre periphery.