Physical Oceanography, Vol. 14, No. 4, 2004
EXPERIMENTAL AND FIELD RESEARCH
GENESIS AND STRUCTURE OF THE ANTICYCLONIC IERAPETRA ZONE
IN THE LEVANTINE BASIN
Yu. I. Popov
On the basis of the annual cycle of observations, we analyze the genesis, structure, and dynamic
activity of the Ierapetra anticyclonic zone in the Eastern Mediterranean. We present a detailed
description of the proposed mechanism of generation and prove the possibility of existence of
circulation for the whole year.
The oceanographic investigations carried out in the Eastern Mediterranean in the second half of the 1980s
and in the beginning of the 1990s make it possible to reveal numerous new quasistationary elements of circula-
tion. On the basis of the data of oceanographic surveys carried out in the course of realization of the internation-
al program “Physical Oceanography of the Eastern Mediterranean”  and the data accumulated by research
vessels of the State Oceanographic Institute (GOIN) in 1986–1991 [2, 3], a quasistationary anticyclonic gyre was
discovered near the Kasos Strait in the Levantine Basin. It was called the Ierapetra Gyre . Note that, in ,
this formation was called the Koufonisi Gyre. However, the first of these names was given to the gyre by Greek
scientists a year earlier and frequently used in the literature. Therefore, we also use this name. According to the
data of the GOIN, the maximum development of the eddy was recorded in September–October 1990 (Fig.
The eddy whose center was located at the point with coordinates
had the following linear
and energy characteristics:
diameter more than
radial drop of depth for an isopycn of
29.0 conv. units 500
radial drop of dynamic heights 400 dynamic mm,
available potential energy (estimate) 6.5
kinetic energy (estimate) 0.8
maximum velocity of the geostrophic current at a distance of
from the center up to
The same years were also characterized by the presence of a powerful anticyclonic formation near the
southwest straits of the Cretan Island Arc (called Pelops)  and an anticyclone in the open Shikmon Sea .
Ukrainian Scientific Center of the Ecology of Sea, Ministry of Ecological Resources of the Ukraine, Odessa. Translated from Morskoi
Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
51–60, July–August, 2004. Original article submitted November 11, 2002; revision submitted Jan-
uary 21, 2003.
234 0928-5105/04/1404–0234 © 2004 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.