A 3-D hydrodynamic model is applied to assess shelf/slope exchanges in the Calvi Canyon region (Corsica, NW Mediterranean) during the violent storm that affected the Western Europe in December 1999. Simulations are carried out using high-frequency sampling meteorological data to take into account the short-term variability of the atmospheric conditions. It is shown that the combined effects of canyon topography and of the wind forcing during the storm are responsible for a large increase of both cross-shore and vertical transports in the area. Strong downwelling motion is simulated all along the continental slope with vertical velocities up to 2cms-1within the canyon. High turbulent diffusion levels are obtained leading to the complete mixing of the water column within the canyon. Results suggest that increased turbulent diffusion and downwelling circulation in the canyon during the storm should result in a large transport of coastal water towards the abyssal plain. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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