Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

URI oceanographer studies seasonal changes in coastal ’jet’ south of Block Island

23.07.2004


University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography physical oceanographer David Ullman and University of Connecticut physical oceanographer Dan Codiga have studied the processes giving rise to a coastal current jet that forms in the Atlantic Ocean south of Block Island. Although the commonly accepted scientific view has been that the flow along the southern New England continental shelf is steady on seasonal timescales, recent collection and analysis of long-term current records as part of a National Oceanographic Partnership Program project carried out by URI and UCONN researchers suggests a contrary view.



In their study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research, Ullman and Codiga use two years of current measurements from shore-based radar and in-water current profilers to describe the properties of the jet. The jet flows southwestward along the frontal boundary that separates the low salinity water emanating from Long Island Sound from open ocean water. By averaging the currents over monthly periods to filter out tidal and storm-driven effects, they found a striking seasonal variability, whereby the jet was most intense during summer and extremely weak in winter.

Analysis of water properties and meteorological data in the region showed that the variability of the jet arises from the interplay of freshwater outflow from estuaries and wind stress. Due to the earth’s rotation, outflows along the southern New England continental shelf, which are strongest in spring, produce westward flow. The predominantly eastward winds in this region, on the other hand, tend to drive eastward currents and this wind-driven flow is strongest in winter. The combined effect of these two forcing mechanisms produces strong westward flow when the outflow effect dominates during summer and weak flow when the two processes balance during winter. The winter weakening of the alongshore current jet is hypothesized to be associated with increased offshore transport of nearshore waters. The current mapping radars deployed for this study continue to operate from shoreline sites in Rhode Island and New York, providing a new capability to monitor coastal circulation in real-time over long time periods.


"In addition to the scientific returns from this observational program, the routine monitoring of surface currents is expected to have considerable societal impact, especially in the realm of coastal search and rescue operations," said Ullman. "The use of real-time currents by U. S. Coast Guard search and rescue planning teams will significantly improve their ability to predict the trajectories of drifting boats or persons at sea."

Lisa Cugini | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uri.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>