Accession Number : ADA314178

Title :   A Climatology of the Middle Atlantic Bight Shelfbreak Front.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA

Personal Author(s) : Linder, Christopher A.

PDF Url : ADA314178

Report Date : JUL 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 97

Abstract : Description of the shelfbreak front in the Middle Atlantic Bight is hampered by the extreme variability of the front. In order to gain more insight into the mean frontal structure and associated baroclinic jet, historical data is used to produce two dimensional climatological fields of temperature and salinity for the region south of Nantucket shoals. Associated cross-shelf fields of density, geostrophic velocity, relative vorticity, and shallow water potential vorticity have also been computed. Historical data from a quality-controlled database (HydroBase) in the region 69-72 deg W, 39.5-41 deg N is included. Cross-shelf sections are obtained by averaging the data in nine depth bins with an average cross-shelf spacing of 10 km but an increased resolution of 4 km near the shelfbreak. The vertical averaging interval was 10 m over the shelf and upper slope waters, increasing to 50 m in the deep slope waters. The data were averaged in bimonthly periods to study seasonal trends. For inter-regional comparison, similar analyses were performed for the south flank of Georges Bank and the shelf off New Jersey. The climatological temperature and salinity are consistent with previous descriptions of the frontal hydrography. Most importantly, features such as the cold pool, the upper slope pycnostad, and the frontal boundary are well resolved when compared with synoptic sections. The temperature contrast across the front varies seasonally between 2-6 deg C near the surface and at depths of 45-65 m. The salinity contrast is 1.5-2 PSS, with little seasonal variation. The resulting cross-frontal near surface density gradients are strongest during the winter and weakest during the summer, when the seasonal thermocline is established.

Descriptors :   *CONTINENTAL SHELVES, *MARINE CLIMATOLOGY, *FRONTS(OCEANOGRAPHY), DATA BASES, OCEAN SURFACE, ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE, THESES, VORTICES, METEOROLOGICAL DATA, OCEANOGRAPHIC DATA, CONTINENTAL SLOPES, FLOW FIELDS, SEASONAL VARIATIONS, TEMPERATURE GRADIENTS, ATLANTIC OCEAN, SALINITY, HYDROGRAPHY, AIR WATER INTERACTIONS, SURFACE TEMPERATURE, GEOSTROPHIC CURRENTS, GEOSTROPHIC WIND, GULF STREAM, HYDRODYNAMICS, THERMOCLINES, JET STREAMS, FRONTS(METEOROLOGY).

Subject Categories : Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
      Meteorology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE