Abstract--The Abrolhos Bank region off the eastern coast of Brazil, under the influence of the Brazil Current, constitutes a typical tropical coral reef ecosystem that is characterized by a high diversity of tropical fish.
This region is characterized by the southward flowing Brazil Current (BC), a typical western boundary current regime (Castro and Miranda, 1998).
The horizontal distribution of the water temperature at a depth of 50 m showed a flow pattern similar to that of the Brazil Current on the three cruises, and the thermal front of the SACW of the Cape Sao Tome reached the southern rim of the Abrolhos Bank (Fig.
The cold South Atlantic Central Water occupies the subsurface layer beneath the Brazil Current but owing to the deep thermocline (80-120 m), the nutrient rich SACW does not come up to the euphotic zone in the survey area, with exception of the coastal region of Cape Frio-Cape Sao Tome.
Assuming that the reef fish larvae found along the shelf break area off the Abrolhos Bank are transported southward by the main axis of the Brazil Current, most of them should be trapped in the Vitoria eddy after passage through the Vitoria Channel.
In the equatorial region of the Atlantic, the North Brazil Current follows the Brazilian coast northwestward before turning sharply to the right between 5 [degrees] N and 10 [degrees] N to cross the Atlantic as the North Equatorial Countercurrent.
From July through December, however, all available surface drifters (during 1983 to 1985) in the North Brazil Current retroflected into the countercurrent.