Air–Sea Interaction and Horizontal Circulation in the Red Sea

Amy S. Bower, J. Thomas Farrar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter discusses the horizontal circulation of the Red Sea and the surface meteorology that drives it, and recent satellite and in situ measurements from the region are used to illustrate properties of the Red Sea circulation and the atmospheric forcing. The surface winds over the Red Sea have rich spatial structure, with variations in speed and direction on both synoptic and seasonal timescales. Wintertime mountain-gap wind jets drive large heat losses and evaporation at some locations, with as much as 9 cm of evaporation in a week. The near-surface currents in the Red Sea exhibit similarly rich variability, with an energetic and complex flow field dominated by persistent, quasi-stationary eddies, and convoluted boundary currents. At least one quasi-stationary eddy pair is driven largely by winds blowing through a gap in the mountains (Tokar Gap), but numerical simulations suggest that much of the eddy field is driven by the interaction of the buoyancy-driven flow with topography. Recent measurements suggest that Gulf of Aden Intermediate Water (GAIW) penetrates further northward into the Red Sea than previously reported.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Earth System Sciences
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783662452004
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015
Externally publishedYes


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