Interannual sea level variability in the western North Atlantic : regional forcing and remote response
Gawarkiewicz, Glen G.
Toole, John M.
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Annually averaged sea level (1970–2012) measured by tide gauges along the North American east coast is remarkably coherent over a 1700 km swath from Nova Scotia to North Carolina. Satellite altimetry (1993–2011) shows that this coherent interannual variability extends over the Middle Atlantic Bight, Gulf of Maine, and Scotian Shelf to the shelf break where there is a local minimum in sea level variance. Comparison with National Center for Environmental Prediction reanalysis winds suggests that a significant fraction of the detrended sea level variance is forced by the region's along-shelf wind stress. While interannual changes in sea level appear to be forced locally, altimetry suggests that the changes observed along the coast and over the shelf may influence the Gulf Stream path downstream of Cape Hatteras.
© The Author(s), 2013. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013): 5915–5919, doi:10.1002/2013GL058013.
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