A Western Boundary Current in the Gulf of Mexico

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Science  23 Apr 1976:
Vol. 192, Issue 4237, pp. 367-369
DOI: 10.1126/science.192.4237.367


The curl of the wind stress over the Gulf of Mexico, during the winter and again in the summer, is similar to that over the central North Atlantic Ocean. An anticyclonic gyre is nearly always found in the western gulf, and we suggest that there is a typical western boundary current, similar in many important respects to the Gulf Stream. The flow appears to be strongest in winter and summer, in phase with the wind curl forcing, and there is evidence that this response is at least partially baroclinic. The deep baroclinic gyre persists when the wind curl vanishes. The winter transport is roughly half that of the Florida Current.