Physical Oceanography, Vol. 16, No. 5, 2006
SEASONAL AND INTERANNUAL VARIATIONS OF THE FIELD OF SEA-SURFACE
TEMPERATURE IN THE SOUTHWEST ATLANTIC ACCORDING TO THE DATA
OF SATELLITE AND CONTACT MEASUREMENTS
We study the seasonal and interannual variations of the field of sea-surface temperature (SST) in
the Southwest Atlantic on the basis of the analysis of three data arrays, namely, the Levitus–Boy-
er-1994 hydrological array, the WOD-98 actual database, and the data of satellite measurements
of SST. We perform the comparative analysis of the amplitude-phase characteristics of the an-
nual course of the SST field and discuss the distinctive features of its seasonal and interannual
variations. It is shown that the results obtained by using different data arrays are in good agree-
ment. The values of the coefficient of linear correlation are equal to
0.7–0.9. It is discovered
that the maximum seasonal variations of SST are observed in the zone of confluence of the Falk-
land and Brasil Currents in the vicinities of the South Subtropical and Antarctic Polar fronts.
The minimum seasonal variations are recorded in the Antarctic region and in the Weddell Sea.
The satellite data demonstrate that the level of interannual variability is high in the zones of cli-
Numerous works are devoted to the investigation of the structure of waters in the Southwest Atlantic.
These works, as a rule, contain the results of the analysis of water masses and currents on the basis of the data
accumulated in specific expeditions (see the surveys presented in [1–5]). Recent
are marked by the
appearance of works aimed at the description of the annual variability of hydrological fields on the basis of the
seasonal and monthly average data. However, the results of these investigations are not always well compatible
[6–10]. To a significant degree, the difficulties arising in the investigation of the seasonal variability of tempera-
ture and salinity fields are explained by the fact that the available data of hydrological observations carried out in
the winter period of the Southern Hemisphere are very poor, especially for the open regions of the ocean and the
Antarctic sector of the Atlantic. The application of sufficiently large radii of influence in the procedure of inter-
polation to the nodes of a regular grid in the regions, where the actual measurements are absent can give unreli-
able results. This means that, at present, the seasonal variability of hydrological fields in the Southwest Atlantic
is studied quite poorly.
An important advance in the investigation of the behavior of hydrological fields is connected with the use
of the satellite data with fairly good space and time resolution. This trend is now intensely developed, as shown
by the series of works devoted to the correction of the behavior of hydrological characteristics on various time
scales on the basis of the data of satellite observations [11–15].
The aim of the present work is to study the specific features of the annual and interannual variations of the
sea-surface temperature in the southwest part of the Atlantic Ocean on the basis of the hydrological and satellite
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol.
Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
62–76, September–October, 2006. Original article submitted March 29,
2005; revision submitted April 18, 2005
0928-5105/06/1605–0299 © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 299