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Interannual and Seasonal Along-Shelf Current Variability and Dynamics: Seventeen Years of Observations from the Southern New England Inner Shelf

Interannual and Seasonal Along-Shelf Current Variability and Dynamics: Seventeen Years of... <jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>The characteristics and dynamics of depth-average along-shelf currents at monthly and longer time scales are examined using 17 years of observations from the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory on the southern New England inner shelf. Monthly averages of the depth-averaged along-shelf current are almost always westward, with the largest interannual variability in winter. There is a consistent annual cycle with westward currents of 5 cm s<jats:sup>−1</jats:sup> in summer decreasing to 1–2 cm s<jats:sup>−1</jats:sup> in winter. Both the annual cycle and interannual variability in the depth-average along-shelf current are predominantly driven by the along-shelf wind stress. In the absence of wind forcing, there is a westward flow of ∼5 cm s<jats:sup>−1</jats:sup> throughout the year. At monthly time scales, the depth-average along-shelf momentum balance is primarily between the wind stress, surface gravity wave–enhanced bottom stress, and an opposing pressure gradient that sets up along the southern New England shelf in response to the wind. Surface gravity wave enhancement of bottom stress is substantial over the inner shelf and is essential to accurately estimating the bottom stress variation across the inner shelf.</jats:p> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Significance Statement</jats:title> <jats:p>Seventeen years of observations from the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory on the inner continental shelf of southern New England reveal that the depth-average along-shelf current is almost always westward and stronger in summer than in winter. Both the annual cycle and variations around the annual cycle are primarily driven by the along-shelf wind stress. The wind stress is opposed by a pressure gradient that sets up along the southern New England shelf and a surface gravity wave–enhanced bottom stress. The surface gravity wave enhancement of bottom stress is substantial in less than 30 m of water and is essential in determining the variation of the along-shelf current across the inner shelf.</jats:p></jats:sec> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Physical Oceanography CrossRef

Interannual and Seasonal Along-Shelf Current Variability and Dynamics: Seventeen Years of Observations from the Southern New England Inner Shelf

Journal of Physical Oceanography , Volume 52 (12): 2923-2933 – Dec 1, 2022

Interannual and Seasonal Along-Shelf Current Variability and Dynamics: Seventeen Years of Observations from the Southern New England Inner Shelf


Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title>
<jats:p>The characteristics and dynamics of depth-average along-shelf currents at monthly and longer time scales are examined using 17 years of observations from the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory on the southern New England inner shelf. Monthly averages of the depth-averaged along-shelf current are almost always westward, with the largest interannual variability in winter. There is a consistent annual cycle with westward currents of 5 cm s<jats:sup>−1</jats:sup> in summer decreasing to 1–2 cm s<jats:sup>−1</jats:sup> in winter. Both the annual cycle and interannual variability in the depth-average along-shelf current are predominantly driven by the along-shelf wind stress. In the absence of wind forcing, there is a westward flow of ∼5 cm s<jats:sup>−1</jats:sup> throughout the year. At monthly time scales, the depth-average along-shelf momentum balance is primarily between the wind stress, surface gravity wave–enhanced bottom stress, and an opposing pressure gradient that sets up along the southern New England shelf in response to the wind. Surface gravity wave enhancement of bottom stress is substantial over the inner shelf and is essential to accurately estimating the bottom stress variation across the inner shelf.</jats:p>
<jats:sec>
<jats:title>Significance Statement</jats:title>
<jats:p>Seventeen years of observations from the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory on the inner continental shelf of southern New England reveal that the depth-average along-shelf current is almost always westward and stronger in summer than in winter. Both the annual cycle and variations around the annual cycle are primarily driven by the along-shelf wind stress. The wind stress is opposed by a pressure gradient that sets up along the southern New England shelf and a surface gravity wave–enhanced bottom stress. The surface gravity wave enhancement of bottom stress is substantial in less than 30 m of water and is essential in determining the variation of the along-shelf current across the inner shelf.</jats:p></jats:sec>

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Publisher
CrossRef
ISSN
0022-3670
DOI
10.1175/jpo-d-22-0064.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>The characteristics and dynamics of depth-average along-shelf currents at monthly and longer time scales are examined using 17 years of observations from the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory on the southern New England inner shelf. Monthly averages of the depth-averaged along-shelf current are almost always westward, with the largest interannual variability in winter. There is a consistent annual cycle with westward currents of 5 cm s<jats:sup>−1</jats:sup> in summer decreasing to 1–2 cm s<jats:sup>−1</jats:sup> in winter. Both the annual cycle and interannual variability in the depth-average along-shelf current are predominantly driven by the along-shelf wind stress. In the absence of wind forcing, there is a westward flow of ∼5 cm s<jats:sup>−1</jats:sup> throughout the year. At monthly time scales, the depth-average along-shelf momentum balance is primarily between the wind stress, surface gravity wave–enhanced bottom stress, and an opposing pressure gradient that sets up along the southern New England shelf in response to the wind. Surface gravity wave enhancement of bottom stress is substantial over the inner shelf and is essential to accurately estimating the bottom stress variation across the inner shelf.</jats:p> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Significance Statement</jats:title> <jats:p>Seventeen years of observations from the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory on the inner continental shelf of southern New England reveal that the depth-average along-shelf current is almost always westward and stronger in summer than in winter. Both the annual cycle and variations around the annual cycle are primarily driven by the along-shelf wind stress. The wind stress is opposed by a pressure gradient that sets up along the southern New England shelf and a surface gravity wave–enhanced bottom stress. The surface gravity wave enhancement of bottom stress is substantial in less than 30 m of water and is essential in determining the variation of the along-shelf current across the inner shelf.</jats:p></jats:sec>

Journal

Journal of Physical OceanographyCrossRef

Published: Dec 1, 2022

References