Atlas of deep current observations for central California
Zamora, Ulysses D.
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Deep (approx. 1000 m) currents were observed off California from August 1994 to September 2009 using current meters and RAFOS floats. Current meter data were collected at nine locations for time periods ranging from two months to 76 months. A total of 144 months of float data were collected. Analysis of current meter data included histograms, progressive vector diagrams, stick plots, kinetic energy and rotary spectra, stick plots, means and standard deviations. Float data were analyzed using trajectories and calculating means, standard deviations, and diffuisivities. For current meter data, semidiurnal tidal energy dominated the kinetic energy spectrum, anticyclonic rotary motion exceeded cyclonic motion, kinetic energy was typically an order of magnitude greater than for diurnal frequencies, and kinetic energy decreased about an order of magnitude as depth increased by 1000 m. Mean speed for current meter (float) data was 6.1 (4.0) cm/s and alongshore variability exceeded across shore variability. Two floats were entrained in mesoscales eddies, one cyclonic and the other anticyclonic; the eddies moved westward at a speed of about 1 cm/s. Seasonal variability along the continental slope was marked by late summer or early fall warming; eddy kinetic energy was minimum in February, 3 cm2/s2.
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