Slope water, gulf stream, and seasonal influences on southern Mid-Atlantic Bight circulation during the fall-winter transition
Observations from autumn 2000 near the shelfbreak front in the Middle Atlantic Bight are used to describe the transition from stratified summer conditions to well-mixed winter conditions over the shelf. During the observational period, the front differed dramatically from climatological conditions, with buoyant Gulf Stream water found shoreward over the subsurface shelfbreak front. Water mass analysis shows a large number of separate water masses with shelf, slope, and Gulf Stream origins. The coolest shelf water was located at the shelfbreak and may be related to "cold pool" water masses observed to the north during summer. Shoreward of this shelfbreak water mass, a mid-shelf front was present which intersected the bottom at the 50-m isobath. High-volume transports were associated with both the shelfbreak and mid-shelf fronts. Transport estimates from the cross-shelf sections were approximately 1 Sverdrup, which is large relative to previous estimates of shelf transport. The foot of the front was near the 130-m isobath, much deeper than the climatological position near the 75-m isobath; however, this is consistent with a recent theory relating the magnitude of alongshelf transport to the depth at which the front intersects the bottom. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
Rasmussen, LL; Gawarkiewicz, G; Owens, WB; Lozier, MS
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