Upwelling on the continental slope of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea : storms, ice, and oceanographic response

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Pickart, Robert S.
Moore, G. W. K.
Torres, Daniel J.
Fratantoni, Paula S.
Goldsmith, Roger A.
Yang, Jiayan
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The characteristics of Pacific-born storms that cause upwelling along the Beaufort Sea continental slope, the oceanographic response, and the modulation of the response due to sea ice are investigated. In fall 2002 a mooring array located near 152°W measured 11 significant upwelling events that brought warm and salty Atlantic water to shallow depths. When comparing the storms that caused these events to other Aleutian lows that did not induce upwelling, interesting trends emerged. Upwelling occurred most frequently when storms were located in a region near the eastern end of the Aleutian Island Arc and Alaskan Peninsula. Not only were these storms deep but they generally had northward-tending trajectories. While the steering flow aloft aided this northward progression, the occurrence of lee cyclogenesis due to the orography of Alaska seems to play a role as well in expanding the meridional influence of the storms. In late fall and early winter both the intensity and frequency of the upwelling diminished significantly at the array site. It is argued that the reduction in amplitude was due to the onset of heavy pack ice, while the decreased frequency was due to two different upper-level atmospheric blocking patterns inhibiting the far field influence of the storms.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2009. 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 114 (2009): C00A13, doi:10.1029/2008JC005009.
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Journal of Geophysical Research 114 (2009): C00A13
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