Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem Canary Current
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names
LME SAU No 27. Eastern Central Atlantic, from Gibraltar, Madeira, Canary islands down to The Gambia. LME2002, LME2006, SAU 2008. 35° N 12° N - 27° W 13° W
Location Map Canary_Current.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 1122977 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface 22.0 °C Map31.gif
100 Meters Depth 17.5 °C Map32.gif
Description The Canary Islands lie between Gibraltar and Mauritania. The Canary Current is strongest near the continental coast, becoming progressively weaker offshore, accelerating as it passes between the islands. Hydrographic and climatic conditions play a major role driving the dynamics of the LME, showing seasonal and longer-term variations. (Bas, 1993) The coast and continental shelf topography are a major influence in the major upwelling areas. Major upwelling occurs between 25 and 23 degrees N due to a transverse shift in the current at 50 m depth; and most actively, in the south, where the Canary Current contacts intertropical water off the Mauritania shelf. (Bas, 1993) The islands influence the current, intensifying the current as it passes between the islands and producing a "shade" zone, with warmer water south of the islands and an accumulation of marine resource biomass (Hernandez-Leon, 1988). Contact between the current and the shade zones results in two eddies, a cyclonic gyre in the west and an anticyclonic gyre in the east, acting to accumulate zooplankton from the north. (Bas, 1993) There is great variation in the upwelling centers. (Bas, 1993) (
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
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