Observations of storm-induced mixing and Gulf Stream Ring incursion over the southern flank of Georges Bank : winter and summer 1997
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High-resolution hydrographic measurements collected along the southern edge of Georges Bank during March and June–July 1997 focused on characterizing processes that drive fluxes of material between the slope and bank. Wintertime sampling characterized changes driven by a strong storm. A Scotian Shelf crossover event produced a ribbon of anomalously fresh water along the bank's southern flank that was diluted during the storm. Comparison of prestorm and poststorm sections shows that over the bank changes in heat and salt inventories are consistent with those expected solely from local surface fluxes. In deeper waters, advective effects, likely associated with frontal motion and eddies, are clearly important. Summertime surveys resolve the development of a massive intrusion of Gulf Stream-like waters onto the bank. East of the intrusion, a thin extrusion of bank water is drawn outward by the developing ring, exporting fresher water at a rate of about 7 × 104 m3/s. A large-amplitude Gulf Stream meander appears to initiate the extrusion, but it quickly evolves, near the bank edge, into a warm core ring. Ring water intrudes to approximately the 80 m isobath, 40 km inshore from the bank edge. The intrusion process seems analogous to the development of Gulf Stream shingles (a hydrodynamic instability) in the South Atlantic Bight. It appears that, once the intruded water is established on the bank, it remains there and dissipates in place. Although the intrusion is an extremely dramatic event, it is probably not actually a major contributor to shelf edge exchanges over a seasonal time scale.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2010. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 115 (2010): C08008, doi:10.1029/2009JC005706.
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