Pathways of shelf water export from the Hatteras shelf and slope
Churchill, James H.
Gawarkiewicz, Glen G.
MetadataShow full item record
It has long been recognized that a massive flow of Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) shelf water is exported to the deep ocean in the region near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. We examine the details of this export using data from an extensive array of 26 moorings, deployed over the shelf and slope between Cape Hatteras and the Chesapeake Bay mouth (from 35° 27′ to 36° 40′ N) as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ocean Margins Program. Our analysis indicates that the flow of the MAB shelf-edge frontal jet, which typically extends over the MAB slope, falls victim to export over the length of the mooring array, essentially vanishing by the southern extreme of the array. By contrast, the flow of MAB shelf water entering the study region over the inner and middle shelf (to roughly the 40-m isobath) tends to experience very little loss over the extent of the OMP array. Based on our findings and those of previous studies, we hypothesize that this inner and middle shelf flow is diverted seaward upon encountering the Hatteras Front, which separates MAB and South Atlantic Bight shelf waters. Some fraction of this flow appears to return to the OMP array, moving northeastward over the upper slope en route to the deep ocean. Our analysis also suggests that the export of MAB shelf water is enhanced as the Gulf Stream approaches the shelf-edge near Diamond Shoals, a process we deem to be a high priority for future study.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2012. 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 117 (2012): C08023, doi:10.1029/2012JC007995.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Churchill, James H.; Gawarkiewicz, Glen G. (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-07-16)Using high-resolution data acquired from a shipboard ADCP and a towed Scanfish equipped with a CTD and fluorometer, we examine the properties and transport of Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) shelf water over a region of the ...
Buesseler, Ken O.; McDonnell, Andrew M. P.; Schofield, Oscar M. E.; Steinberg, Deborah K.; Ducklow, Hugh W. (American Geophysical Union, 2010-11-24)Drifting cylindrical traps and the flux proxy 234Th indicate more than an order of magnitude higher sinking fluxes of particulate carbon and 234Th in January 2009 than measured by a time-series conical trap used regularly ...
Particle export from the upper ocean over the continental shelf of the west Antarctic Peninsula: A long-term record, 1992–2007 Ducklow, Hugh W.; Erickson, Matthew; Kelly, Joann; Montes-Hugo, Martin; Ribic, Christine A.; Smith, Raymond C.; Stammerjohn, Sharon E.; Karl, David M. (2008-03)We report on results of a long-term (1993-2007) time series sediment trap moored at 170 m to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula in the mid-continental shelf region (350 m depth; 64º30’ S, 66º00’ W). This is a region ...