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Seasonal variations in the circulation over the Middle Atlantic Bight continental shelf

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dc.contributor.author Lentz, Steven J.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-11-02T14:56:14Z
dc.date.available 2010-11-02T14:56:14Z
dc.date.issued 2008-07
dc.identifier.citation Journal of Physical Oceanography 38 (2008): 1486-1500 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/4039
dc.description Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2008. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 38 (2008): 1486–1500, doi:10.1175/2007JPO3767.1. en_US
dc.description.abstract Fits of an annual harmonic to depth-average along-shelf current time series longer than 200 days from 27 sites over the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) continental shelf have amplitudes of a few centimeters per second. These seasonal variations are forced by seasonal variations in the wind stress and the cross-shelf density gradient. The component of wind stress that drives the along-shelf flow over most of the MAB mid- and outer shelf is oriented northeast–southwest, perpendicular to the major axis of the seasonal variation in the wind stress. Consequently, there is not a significant seasonal variation in the wind-driven along-shelf flow, except over the southern MAB shelf and the inner shelf of New England where the wind stress components forcing the along-shelf flow are north–south and east–west, respectively. The seasonal variation in the residual along-shelf flow, after removing the wind-driven component, has an amplitude of a few centimeters per second with maximum southwestward flow in spring onshore of the 60-m isobath and autumn offshore of the 60-m isobath. The spring maximum onshore of the 60-m isobath is consistent with the maximum river discharges in spring enhancing cross-shelf salinity gradients. The autumn maximum offshore of the 60-m isobath and a steady phase increase with water depth offshore of Cape Cod are both consistent with the seasonal variation in the cross-shelf temperature gradient associated with the development and destruction of a near-bottom pool of cold water over the mid and outer shelf (“cold pool”) due to seasonal variations in surface heat flux and wind stress. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This research was funded by the Ocean Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation under Grants OCE-820773, OCE-841292, and OCE- 848961. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Meteorological Society en_US
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2007JPO3767.1
dc.subject Seasonal variability en_US
dc.subject Ocean circulation en_US
dc.subject Continental shelf en_US
dc.subject Wind stress en_US
dc.subject Density currents en_US
dc.title Seasonal variations in the circulation over the Middle Atlantic Bight continental shelf en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1175/2007JPO3767.1


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