The oceanic circulation off the Brazilian coast is governed by the South Atlantic Western Boundary Current System (WBCS). On the Brazilian continental margin between 23-28S (Santos Bight) there is the South Equatorial Current bifurcation in intermediate depths, called Santos Bifurcation. On the north of the bifurcation it is observed a unique WBCS flow pattern, where the Brazil Current (BC) flows poleward in the first 500 m depth and Intermediate Western Boundary Current (IWBC) flows northward beneath the BC in this intermediate depths. On the south of this bifurcation the BC gets a vertical extension similar of those observed in other western boundary currents around the globe. In Santos Bight there is a lack of detailed descriptions of the WBCS three-dimensional velocity structure and what is the role played by the Santos Bifurcation in the variability of the BC. The objectives of this work are to describe the flow pattern in the Santos Bight using top-bottom direct velocity measurements and to evaluate the growth of instabilities and meanders of the BC and how the bifurcation modifies it. To achieve the proposed goals hydrographic and velocity data analysis, water masses identification and linear instability numerical modeling are going to be carried out.
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