[en] Sea circulation ; Variability ; Slope ; Current instability ; Physical model ; Circulating current ; Theoretical model ; Mediterranean Sea ; Strait ; Flow field ; Flow velocity ; Numerical simulation ; Balearic Islands ; Balearic Sea ; Alboran Sea ; Corsica ; Spain ; Europe ; France
[en] The present paper describes the major results obtained from 1989 to 1992 by the EUROMODEL group in studying the circulation in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Particular emphasis has been given to the physical processes responsible for seasonal and mesoscale variabilities. Observations (in situ and satellite), together with theoretical, physical and numerical models, have been widely used in the course of these studies. Attention has been focused on the dynamics of the northern basin (deep water formation, dynamics of the Northern Mediterranean Current, circulation and shelf/slope interaction in the Balearic Sea) and of the southern basin (Alboran Sea circulation, instabilities of the Algerian Current). The straits dynamics have been studied with particular reference to the Corsica channel. Preliminary runs of a basin-scale circulation model of the Western Mediterranean Sea forced by the straits are also presented. They are shown to be capable of generating a cyclonic circulation in the western basin.