Variations in coastal circulation off Central California, spring-summer, 1993, 1994, 1995
Parker, Heather A.
Schwing, Franklin B.
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In situ measurements of hydrographic, wind and Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) data, along with satellite imagery, were collected off central California during the upwelling season of three successive years, 1993, 1994 and 1995. The survey was conducted three times in the late spring of each year within 75 km of the coastline from Point Reyes south to Cypress Point, along a region of irregular coastline and bathymetry. The upwelling circulation was found to be distinct from the California Current System and unlike circulation defined in recent conceptual models for this region. Persistent or recurring circulation features were observed throughout the upwelling season that acted as dynamic boundaries to this system. A varied response by upwelling centers in this region to a fairly uniform wind field was also observed. Water upwelled within this system is considered to recirculate and mix, retained within the system for a relatively long period of time. This long retention period of upwelled water is thought to promote the high productivity associated with coastal upwelling. The circulation patterns found in this region, and the dynamic boundaries to the principal equatorward current may represent upwelling circulation at multiple locations in this and in other eastern boundary current systems, inshore of the principal equatorward current
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