Effect of coastal-trapped waves and wind on currents and transport in the Gulf of California
Gutiérrez, Manuel O.
Collins, Curtis A.
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Subsurface pressure (SsP) observations from stations inside and outside of the Gulf of California (GC) are used to analyze the relationship between low-frequency currents, temperature, and transport inside the GC and intraseasonal coastal-trapped waves (CTWs), which propagate poleward along the coast toward the GC. Correlation functions and coherences of SsP stations were consistent with intraseasonal CTWs splitting in two at the mouth of the gulf: one part enters the gulf, propagates around the gulf, and eventually, toward the mouth, and another part that appears to ‘‘jump’’ the mouth of the gulf and travels poleward along the west coast of the peninsula. The correlation and coherence estimates of SsP at Manzanillo with currents showed that downwelling CTWs generated along-gulf current anomalies toward the head of the gulf at the mainland shelf of the mouth, whereas at Ballenas Channel sill (San Lorenzo sill) these waves generated current anomalies toward the mouth near the surface (bottom). At the San Lorenzo (SL) sill, downwelling CTWs increased the near-bottom ( 400 m) temperature and reduced the bottom transport of deep, fresher, and colder water that flows toward the head of the gulf. Cross-Calibrated Multiplatform winds were used to investigate their relationship with currents. The first empirical orthogonal function of the along-gulf wind stress showed that wind blowing toward the head of the gulf generated a reduction of bottom transport toward the head of the gulf through the SL sill, and intensified surface geostrophic current fluctuations toward the head of the gulf. There was also significant correlation between inflow bottom transport and outflow surface geostrophic velocities averaged across the gulf, consistent with the exchange pattern for the Northern Gulf.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2013JC009538
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