DOLCE VITA - Mesoscale Dynamics and Response to Strong Atmospheric Forcing

PI: Craig M. Lee
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research ()
Marini, Mauro , et al., 2008. Seasonal variability and Po River plume influence on biochemical properties along western Adriatic coast, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 113.
Peters, Hartmut , et al., 2007. Turbulence in the wintertime northern Adriatic Sea under strong atmospheric forcing, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 112.
Jeffries, Marlene A.and Lee, Craig M. 2007. A climatology of the northern Adriatic Sea's response to bora and river forcing, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 112.
Pullen, Julie , et al., 2007. Bora event variability and the role of air-sea feedback, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 112.
Pasarić, Zoran , et al., 2006. Aliasing due to sampling of the Adriatic temperature, salinity and density in space, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 69, 636-642.
Dorman, C. E. , et al., 2006. February 2003 marine atmospheric conditions and the bora over the northern Adriatic, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 111.
Lee, Craig M. , et al., 2005. Northern Adriatic response to a wintertime bora wind event, Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 86, 157-165.

Recent ONR-funded investigations have focused on regions bounded by progressively more complex topography (e.g. Arabian Sea, Japan/East Sea and Adriatic Sea) where orographic effects produce intense, small-scale atmospheric forcing. Small-scale wind- and buoyancy-forcing, combined with riverine input, complex bathymetry and proximity to the coastal boundary, support a wide variety of energetic fronts, filaments and eddies. These features have short temporal and spatial scales and can play critical roles in governing basin-scale circulation, cross-shelf transport, watermass transformation and subduction. Two cruises in the Northern and Central Adriatic Sea conducted quasi-synoptic, three-dimensional surveys of mesocale and submesoscale physical and optical variability, following their response to strong forcing events. During winter (February), sampling emphasized the response to episodic Bora wind events. Although springtime (May) measurement program was designed to sample during the Po River spring freshette, freshwater discharge rates were more than a standard deviation below the 12-year mean and winds remained weak throughout the survey period, leading to a study of weakly forced dynamics in a strongly stratified, shallow water regime.