Agulhas Front

November 5, 2011, 1:37 pm

The Agulhas Front (AF) is a strong oceanic water front  that occurs from subsurface to intermediate depth beneath the upper 100 to 150 meters that originates at around 20o–25o E below the southern tip of Africa. It extends to between 65o–90o E where it merges with the Southern Subtropical Front in the Indian Ocean sector of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). The chief identification criterion is usually the depth range of the 10o isotherm, about 300–800 m south of Africa at 16o–27o E. This range shrinks to about 400–650 m to the east in the Kerguelan–Amsterdam passage, indicating the gradual weakening of the AF. A thermostad on the warm side of the AF in the 150–300 m layer is another useful identification criterion. This thermostad cools and freshens to east, ranging from 17o–18o C/35.5–35.6 at 20o E to 12o–14o C/35.2–35.4 at 70o E.

This article is written at a definitional level only. Authors wishing to improve this entry are inivited to expand the present treatment, which additions will be peer reviewed prior to publication of any expansion.

Further Reading:

  • Physical Oceanography Index
  • Igor M. Belkin and Arnold L. Gordon. Southern Ocean fronts from the Greenwich meridian to Tasmania. J. Geophys. Res., pages 3675–3696, 1996.


(2011). Agulhas Front. Retrieved from


To add a comment, please Log In.