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 earths 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.
Lisa Cugini | EurekAlert!
Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...
Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles
Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.
We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...
Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...
Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...
17.10.2018 | Event News
16.10.2018 | Event News
02.10.2018 | Event News
19.10.2018 | Life Sciences
19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.10.2018 | Trade Fair News