Poleward propagating subinertial alongshore surface currents off the US West Coast

TitlePoleward propagating subinertial alongshore surface currents off the US West Coast
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKim S.Y, Cornuelle BD, Terrill E.J, Jones B, Washburn L., Moline M.A, Paduan J.D, Garfield N., Largier J.L, Crawford G., Kosro P.M
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Oceans
Date Published2013/12
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-9275
Accession NumberWOS:000329926200032
Keywordscalifornia current system; coastally; continental-shelf; high-frequency radar; large-scale; northern california; ocean dynamics experiment; phase speed; poleward propagation; sea-level; seasonal variability; surface currents; trapped waves; united-states; waves; wind transfer function; wind-driven currents

The network comprising 61 high-frequency radar systems along the U.S. West Coast (USWC) provides a unique, high resolution, and broad scale view of ocean surface circulation. Subinertial alongshore surface currents show poleward propagating signals with phase speeds of O(10) and O(100-300) kmd-1 that are consistent with historical in situ observations off the USWC and that can be possibly interpreted as coastally trapped waves (CTWs). The propagating signals in the slow mode are partly observed in southern California, which may result from scattering and reflection of higher-mode CTWs due to curvature of shoreline and bathymetry near Point Conception, California. On the other hand, considering the order of the phase speed in the slow mode, the poleward propagating signals may be attributed to alongshore advection or pressure-driven flows. A statistical regression of coastal winds at National Data Buoy Center buoys on the observed surface currents partitions locally and remotely wind-forced components, isolates footprints of the equatorward propagating storm events in winter off the USWC, and shows the poleward propagating signals year round.

Short TitleJ Geophys Res-Oceans
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