Mesoscale eddies in the Gulf of Alaska are thought to contribute to the shelf-slope exchange of nutrients and plankton, enhancing biological production. We report on a study of two anticyclonic mesoscale eddies in this region observed through in situ sampling during August and September 2007. Both eddies exhibited in their cores theta-S profiles with warmer, fresher water relative to the properties of the ambient basin water between 150 and 300 m depth. Hydrographic properties and satellite altimetry data were analyzed to identify likely formation regions for each feature. One eddy, sampled near Yakutat, Alaska, originated in the Sitka formation region (221–223° E); the second eddy, sampled south of Kodiak Island, originated near the Kenai Peninsula, southeast of the Kennedy and Stevenson entrances to Cook Inlet—an area not previously studied as a formation region. Subsequent analysis of 16 years of satellite altimeter data (from 1992 to 2008) with an algorithm designed to identify and track eddies revealed approximately 6 Kenai eddies that have formed in this region. Although this number constitutes only 3.2% of the 188 eddies identified by the algorithm during this period, it represents 15.4% of the 39 eddies that formed in or propagated westward into the Alaskan Stream.
|Advisor:||Edwards, Christopher A.|
|Commitee:||Bruland, Kenneth W., Kudela, Raphael|
|School:||University of California, Santa Cruz|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Physical oceanography, Remote sensing|
|Keywords:||Alaska, Eddies, Iron limitation, Mesoscale, Satellite altimetry, Sitka|
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