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Satellite Observations of Seasonal and Interannual Changes of Sea Level and Currents over the Scotian Slope

Satellite Observations of Seasonal and Interannual Changes of Sea Level and Currents over the... Seasonal and interannual sea level and current variations over the Scotian slope are examined using 10 years of Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX)/Poseidon (T/P) satellite altimeter data. Geostrophic surface current anomalies normal to ground tracks are derived from the along-track gradients of sea level anomalies. The altimetric current anomalies are combined with a climatological mean circulation field of a finite-element model to construct nominal absolute currents. The seasonal mean results indicate that the sea level is highest in late summer and lowest in late winter and that the surface slope circulation is strong in winter/autumn and weaker in summer/spring. The total transport associated with the westward shelf-edge current and with the eastward slope current, calculated by combining the T/P data with a climatological seasonal mean density field, reveals a substantial seasonal change dominated by the barotropic component. The present analysis reveals prominent interannual changes of the sea level and current anomalies for the study period. The sea level was lowest in 1996/97, when the Gulf Stream was in its most southern position. The mean winter circulation over the Scotian slope was strongest (up to 30 cm s −1 in both the southwestward shelf-edge current and northeastward slope current) in 1998 and weakest (weaker and broader shelf-edge current) in 1996, which may be related to the fluctuation of the equatorward Labrador Current strength and of the Gulf Stream north–south position. The study also suggests that the root-mean-square current magnitude is positively correlated with the occurrence of the Gulf Stream warm-core rings (WCRs) on the interannual scale, while WCR yearly mean kinematic properties seem to have small variations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Physical Oceanography American Meteorological Society

Satellite Observations of Seasonal and Interannual Changes of Sea Level and Currents over the Scotian Slope

Journal of Physical Oceanography , Volume 37 (4) – Dec 15, 2005

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0485
DOI
10.1175/JPO3036.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Seasonal and interannual sea level and current variations over the Scotian slope are examined using 10 years of Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX)/Poseidon (T/P) satellite altimeter data. Geostrophic surface current anomalies normal to ground tracks are derived from the along-track gradients of sea level anomalies. The altimetric current anomalies are combined with a climatological mean circulation field of a finite-element model to construct nominal absolute currents. The seasonal mean results indicate that the sea level is highest in late summer and lowest in late winter and that the surface slope circulation is strong in winter/autumn and weaker in summer/spring. The total transport associated with the westward shelf-edge current and with the eastward slope current, calculated by combining the T/P data with a climatological seasonal mean density field, reveals a substantial seasonal change dominated by the barotropic component. The present analysis reveals prominent interannual changes of the sea level and current anomalies for the study period. The sea level was lowest in 1996/97, when the Gulf Stream was in its most southern position. The mean winter circulation over the Scotian slope was strongest (up to 30 cm s −1 in both the southwestward shelf-edge current and northeastward slope current) in 1998 and weakest (weaker and broader shelf-edge current) in 1996, which may be related to the fluctuation of the equatorward Labrador Current strength and of the Gulf Stream north–south position. The study also suggests that the root-mean-square current magnitude is positively correlated with the occurrence of the Gulf Stream warm-core rings (WCRs) on the interannual scale, while WCR yearly mean kinematic properties seem to have small variations.

Journal

Journal of Physical OceanographyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Dec 15, 2005

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