Oceanographic conditions at the southern end of the argentine continental slope
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The characteristics of the upper Antartic Intermediate water (AAIW) entering the Southern Atlantic are described on the base of oceanographic data collected from four late austral winters (1978-1980-1994-1995). The upper 500 meters regime along the shelf break and around Malvinas Islands (48° to 55° S) is analyzed. In particular, the 1994 horizontal distribution of temperature, salinity and density was mapped in order to show the extreme winter pattern of these parameters. Three salinity sections crossing the water flow direction in the Malvinas Channel (South to the islands) were selected to describe the vertical stratification 1995 and 1995. Horizontal and vertical distribution of chlorophyll a from the 1995 cruise is presented as reference data, considering the lack of information on this parameter for the area. Finally, the inter-annual variability of the heat content in two 5° x 5° areas (East and West to the islands) is discussed by comparing the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data between the four sampled years. From this information, 1995 resulted in the coolest winter, presenting a temperature anomaly around -4° C respect to theother winters.