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Seasonal and interannual variability in along-slope oceanic properties off the US West Coast: Inferences from a high-resolution regional model

TitleSeasonal and interannual variability in along-slope oceanic properties off the US West Coast: Inferences from a high-resolution regional model
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKurapov A.L, Pelland N.A, Rudnick D.L
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Oceans
Date Published2017/07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-9275
Accession NumberWOS:000409893600003
Keywordscalifornia current system; eastern pacific; el-nino; haida eddies; ne; northeast pacific; pacific; sea levels; surface circulation; undercurrent; underwater gliders

A 6 year, 2009-2014 simulation using a 2 km horizontal resolution ocean circulation model of the Northeast Pacific coast is analyzed with focus on seasonal and interannual variability in along-slope subsurface oceanic properties. Specifically, the fields are sampled on the isopycnal surface sigma = 26.5 kg m(-3) that is found between depths of 150 and 300 m below the ocean surface over the continental slope. The fields analyzed include the depth z(26.5), temperature T-26.5, along-slope current v(26.5), and the average potential vorticity PV between sigma = 26.5 and 26.25 kg m(-3). Each field is averaged in the cross-shore direction over the continental slope and presented as a function of the alongshore coordinate and time. The seasonal cycle in z(26.5) shows a coherent upwelling-downwelling pattern from Mexico to Canada propagating to the north with a speed of 0.5 m s(-1). The anomalously deep (220 m) z(26.5) displacement in spring-summer 2014 is forced by the southern boundary condition at 24 degrees N as a manifestation of an emerging strong El Nino. The seasonal cycle in T-26.5 is most pronounced between 36 degrees N and 53 degrees N indicating that subarctic waters are replaced by warmer Californian waters in summer with the speed close 0.15 m s(-1), which is consistent with earlier estimates of the undercurrent speed and also present v(26.5) analyses. The seasonal patterns and anomalies in z(26.5) and T-26.5 find confirmation in available long-term glider and shipborne observations. The PV seasonality over the slope is qualitatively different to the south and north of the southern edge of Heceta Bank (43.9 degrees N).

Short TitleJ Geophys Res-Oceans
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