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Article
Southward Flow on the Western Flank of the Florida Current
Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
  • Alexander Soloviev, Nova Southeastern University
  • Amy Hirons, Nova Southeastern University
  • Christopher Maingot, Nova Southeastern University
  • Cayla Whitney Dean, Nova Southeastern University
  • Richard E. Dodge, Nova Southeastern University
  • Alexander E. Yankovsky, University of South Carolina
  • Jon Wood, Ocean Data Technologies, Inc.
  • Robert H. Weisberg, University of South Florida
  • Mark E. Luther, University of South Florida
  • Julian P. McCreary, University of Hawaii
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
7-1-2017
Keywords
  • Undercurrent,
  • Surface undercurrent,
  • Western boundary current,
  • Alongshore pressure gradient,
  • Ekman transport,
  • Bottom boundary layer
Abstract

A suite of long-term in situ measurements in the Straits of Florida, including the ADCP bottom moorings at an 11-m isobath and 244-m isobath (Miami Terrace) and several ADCP ship transects, have revealed a remarkable feature of the ocean circulation - southward flow on the western, coastal flank of the Florida Current. We have observed three forms of the southward flow - a seasonally varying coastal countercurrent, an undercurrent jet attached to the Florida shelf, and an intermittent undercurrent on the Miami Terrace. According to a 13-year monthly climatology obtained from the near-shore mooring, the coastal countercurrent is a persistent feature from October through January. The southward flow in the form of an undercurrent jet attached to the continental slope was observed during five ship transects from April through September but was not observed during three transects in February, March, and November. This undercurrent jet is well mixed due to strong shear at its top associated with the northward direction of the surface flow (Florida Current) and friction at the bottom. At the same time, no statistically significant seasonal cycle has been observed in the undercurrent flow on the Miami Terrace. Theoretical considerations suggest that several processes could drive the southward current, including interaction between the Florida Current and the shelf, as well as forcing that is independent of the Florida Current. The exact nature of the southward flow on the western flank of the Florida Current is, however, unknown.

Comments

©2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).

Additional Comments
FAU subcontract #: NR993/97-305 (ONR # N00014-98-1-0861; ONR award #: N00014-02-1-0950; NOAA grant #: NA08NOS4730409; ONR award #: N00014-10-1-0938; CIMAS award #: S15-01/AC55653 (NOAA NA10OAR4320143); University of Miami/Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative award #: S120021
ORCID ID
0000-0001-6519-1547
DOI
10.1016/j.dsr.2017.05.002
Citation Information
Alexander Soloviev, Amy Hirons, Christopher Maingot, Cayla Whitney Dean, et al.. "Southward Flow on the Western Flank of the Florida Current" Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers Vol. 125 (2017) p. 94 - 105 ISSN: 0967-0637
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/alexander-soloviev/78/