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  • Article
    Circulation in the vicinity of Mackenzie Canyon from a year-long mooring array
    (Elsevier, 2020-07-04) Lin, Peigen ; Pickart, Robert S. ; Fissel, David ; Ross, Ed ; Kasper, Jeremy L. ; Bahr, Frank B. ; Torres, Daniel J. ; O’Brien, Jeff ; Borg, Keath ; Melling, Humfrey ; Wiese, Francis K.
    Data from a five-mooring array extending from the inner shelf to the continental slope in the vicinity of Mackenzie Canyon, Beaufort Sea are analyzed to elucidate the components of the boundary current system and their variability. The array, part of the Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES), was deployed from October 2016 to September 2017. Four distinct currents were identified: an eastward-directed flow adjacent to the coast; a westward-flowing, surface-intensified current centered on the outer-shelf; a bottom-intensified shelfbreak jet flowing to the east; and a recirculation at the base of the continental slope within the canyon. The shelf current transports −0.120.03 Sv in the mean and is primarily wind-driven. The response is modulated by the presence of ice, with little-to-no signal during periods of nearly-immobile ice cover and maximum response when there is partial ice cover. The shelfbreak jet transports 0.030.02 Sv in the mean, compared to 0.080.02 Sv measured upstream in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea over the same time period. The loss of transport is consistent with a previous energetics analysis and the lack of Pacific-origin summer water downstream. The recirculation in the canyon appears to be the result of local dynamics whereby a portion of the westward-flowing southern limb of the Beaufort Gyre is diverted up the canyon across isobaths. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the low-frequency variability of the recirculation is correlated with the wind-stress curl in the Canada Basin, which drives the Beaufort gyre.