Onken, R., A.R. Robinson, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, P.J. Haley Jr. and L.A. Anderson, 2003. Data driven simulations of synoptic circulation and transports in the Tunisia-Sardinia-Sicily region. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, (C9), 8123-8136.
Data from a hydrographic survey of the Tunisia-Sardinia-Sicily region are assimilated
into a primitive equations ocean model. The model simulation is then averaged in time
over the short duration of the data survey. The corresponding results, consistent with data
and dynamics, are providing new insight into the circulation of Modified Atlantic Water
(MAW) and Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW) in this region of the western
Mediterranean. For MAW these insights include a southward jet off the east coast of
Sardinia, anticyclonic recirculation cells on the Algerian and Tunisian shelves, and a
secondary flow splitting in the Strait of Sicily. For the LIW regime a detailed view of the
circulation in the Strait of Sicily is given, indicating that LIW proceeds from the strait
to the Tyrrhenian Sea. No evidence is found for a direct current path to the Sardinia
Channel. Complex circulation patterns are validated by two-way nesting of critical
regions. Volume transports are computed for the Strait of Sicily, the Sardinia Channel, and
the passage between Sardinia and Sicily.