Export of middle Atlantic Bight Shelf waters near Cape Hatteras from two years of underwater glider observations
Todd, Robert E.
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Equatorward flow of Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) shelf waters meets poleward flowing South Atlantic Bight shelf waters over the continental shelf near Cape Hatteras, NC, leading to net export of shelf waters into the deep ocean. This export occurs in close proximity to the Gulf Stream, which separates from the continental margin near Cape Hatteras. Observations from sustained underwater glider surveys of the outer continental shelf and slope north of Cape Hatteras from spring 2017 to spring 2019 are used to examine the mean and variability of MAB shelf water export in the region. The 0.3 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1) time‐mean export of MAB shelf water south of 37°N was dominated by discrete export events; 50% of export occurred during the 17% of the time during which transport was more than 1 standard deviation above the mean. These events typically occurred in late spring and summer of both years when equatorward flow into the region peaked. Export of MAB shelf water was correlated with equatorward flow into the region, which was itself correlated with the density gradient across the continental shelf break. Observations during specific time periods that capture extrema in MAB shelf water export are examined to highlight the variability in shelf‐deep ocean exchange scenarios in the Hatteras region. These include near‐surface export driven by hurricanes, subsurface export below the northern edge of the Gulf Stream, and a multi‐month near‐cessation of export.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2020. 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-Oceans 125(4), (2020): e2019JC016006, doi:10.1029/2019JC016006.
Suggested CitationTodd, R. E. (2020). Export of middle Atlantic Bight Shelf waters near Cape Hatteras from two years of underwater glider observations. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 125(4), e2019JC016006.
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