Scientia Marina, Vol 70, No 4 (2006)

Seasonal hydrodynamical features on the continental shelf of Colima (west coast of Mexico)

José Salas
Centro de Ecología y Pesquerías-Universidad Veracruzana. Boca del Río-Veracruz, Mexico

Damià Gomis
IMEDEA (Univ. de les Illes Balears-CSIC). Mallorca, Spain

Aramis Olivos-Ortiz
CEUNIVO-Universidad de Colima. Colima, Mexico

Geraldine Garcia-Uribe
CEUNIVO-Universidad de Colima. Colima, Mexico


Four high-resolution hydrographic surveys were carried out in 2002 on the continental shelf of Colima, Pacific coast of Mexico. The data collected revealed the presence of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddy-like features covering the whole extension of the shelf, which is a rather different pattern from the along-shore general circulation described in previous works. Despite the apparent complexity of the circulation features, the overall shelf-slope exchange pattern is similar in autumn and winter and the opposite in spring. In summer the exchanges also have a similar distribution to autumn and winter, but they are restricted to the upper layers. This suggests that the observed circulation features could result from the interaction between the large-scale seasonal circulation and some kind of local forcing.


west coast of Mexico; Colima shelf; seasonal hydrodynamics

Full Text:



Badan-Dangon, A. – 1997. La Corriente Costera de Costa Rica en el Pacifico Mexicano. In: M. Lavín (ed.), Contribución a la Oceanografía Física en México. Monografía 3, pp. 99-113 Unión Geofísica Mexicana.

Bretherton F. P., R. E. Davis and C. B. Fandry. – 1976 A technique for objective analysis and design of oceanographic experiments applied to MODE-73. Deep-Sea Res., 23: 559-582.

Filonov A., C. Monzon and I. Tereshchenko. – 1996. Acerca de las condiciones de generación de las ondas internas de marea en la Costa Occidental de México. Cienc. Mar., 22(3): 1-18

Gomis, D., S. Ruiz and M.A. Pedder. – 2001. Diagnostic analysis of the 3D ageostrophic circulation from a multivariate spatial interpolation of CTD and ADCP data. Deep-Sea Res. I, 48: 269-295. doi:10.1016/S0967-0637(00)00060-1

Klinck, J.M. – 1996. Circulation near submarine canyons. J. Geophys. Res., 101: 1211-1223. doi:10.1029/95JC02901

Pedder M.A. – 1993. Interpolation and filtering of spatial observations using successive corrections and gaussian filters. Mon. Weather. Rev., 121: 2889-2902. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1993)121<2889:IAFOSO>2.0.CO;2

Pedder M. A. and D. Gomis. – 1998. Application of EOF Analysis to the spatial estimation of circulation features in the ocean sampled by high-resolution CTD samplings. J. Atmos. Ocean Tech., 15(4): 959-978. doi:10.1175/1520-0426(1998)015<0959:AOEATT>2.0.CO;2

Salas-Pérez, J.J. – 2002. Mesoscale gyres generated along the pacific eastern boundary: during normal and abnormal (the El Niño and La Niña events) years (abstract), III Coloquio sobre Oceanografia del Pacifico Oriental.

Stumpf, G.H. and R.V. Legeckis. – 1977. Satellite Observations of Mesoscale Gyres Dynamics in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 7: 648-658. doi:10.1175/1520-0485(1977)007<0648:SOOMED>2.0.CO;2

Zamudio, L., A.P. Leonardi, S.D. Myers and J.J. O’Brian. – 2001. ENSO and eddies on the southwest coast of Mexico, Geophys. Res. Lett., 28(1): 13-16. doi:10.1029/2000GL011814

Wyrtki, K. – 1965. Surface currents of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean, Bull. II-ATTC., 9(5): 63-97.

Copyright (c) 2006 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Contact us

Technical support