Shoosmith, Deborah R.
Richardson, Philip L.
Bower, Amy S.
Rossby, H. Thomas
RAFOS float trajectories near the 27.5 density level were analyzed to investigate discrete
eddies in the northern North Atlantic with the objective of determining their geographical
distribution and characteristics. Floats that made two or more consecutive loops in the
same direction (loopers) were considered to have been in an eddy. Overall 15% (24 float
years) of the float data were in loopers. One hundred and eight loopers were identified in
96 different eddies. Roughly half of the eddies were cyclonic (49%) and half were
anticyclonic (51%), although the percentages varied in different regions. A few eddies
were quasi-stationary for long times, one for over a year in the Iceland Basin, and many
others clearly translated, often in the direction of the general circulation as observed by
non-looping floats. Several floats were trapped in eddies in the vicinity of the North
Atlantic Current just upstream (west) of the Charlie Gibbs (52ºN) and Faraday (50ºN)
Fracture Zones, which seem to be preferred routes for flow crossing the mid-Atlantic
ridge. Five floats looped in four anticyclones which translated southwestward away from
the eastern boundary near the Goban Spur (47ºN-50ºN). These could have been weak
meddies forming from remnants of warm salty Mediterranean Water advected northward
along the eastern boundary.
Costa, Daniel P.
Bolmer, S. Thompson
Goebel, Michael E.
Huckstadt, Luis A.
McDonald, Birgitte I.
Shoosmith, Deborah R.
We demonstrate the first use of marine mammal dive-depth data to improve maps of bathymetry in poorly sampled regions of the continental shelf. A group of 57 instrumented elephant seals made on the order of 2 × 105 dives over and near the continental shelf on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula during five seasons, 2005–2009. Maximum dive depth exceeded 2000 m. For dives made near existing ship tracks with measured water depths H<700 m, ∼30% of dive depths were to the seabed, consistent with expected benthic foraging behavior. By identifying the deepest of multiple dives within small areas as a dive to the seabed, we have developed a map of seal-derived bathymetry. Our map fills in several regions for which trackline data are sparse, significantly improving delineation of troughs crossing the continental shelf of the southern Bellingshausen Sea.