Marine Circulation along the Moroccan Atlantic Coast

Ismail BESSA, Ahmed MAKAOUI, Karim HILMI, Mohammed IDRISSI, Abdelaziz AGOUZOUK, Omar ETTAHIRI, Mohamed AFIFI


As part of the Canary Current Ecosystem, numerical models from Marine Copernicus are used to study the seasonality of marine circulation along the Moroccan Atlantic coast from 2007 to 2017. Therefore, we explore the marine circulation in three areas according to the wind seasonality along the coast. The first area, 33°N-35°N, is specified all the year by a low wind speed. The second area, 28°N-33°N, is characterized by a seasonal wind with the maximum speed in summer seasons, and it becomes weaker in autumn seasons. Finally, the third area, 21°N-27°N, is marked all the seasons by high winds intensity. Due to the Moroccan Atlantic coast topography, the average intensity of marine circulation on the surface is characterized by different trends according to the seasons. Part of the seawater, creating filaments, is exported to the open sea, especially in summer. Marine circulation affects the upwelling process under the effect of seasonal wind patterns. These filaments are identified near the coast and are particularly strong when the upwelling is active. They occur mainly in summer and carry cold, nutrient-rich water offshore. In addition, counter-currents appear at different depths, depending on the topography of the region. They move northward, especially near the coast in spring and fall.


Moroccan Atlantic coast; decadal marine circulation; costal upwelling; filament; ocean mixed layer depth.

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