Measurements of currents and light transmission were made at bottom tripods and moorings arrayed across the northern California continental shelf along the Coastal Ocean Dynamics Experiment (CODE) "C" transect as part of the 1990-1991 Sediment Transport Events on Shelves and Slopes (STRESS) experiment. In combination with meteorological and wave data from the National Data Buoy Center Buoy 46013, these measurements provide information about the physical forcing and resultant resuspension and transport of bottom material between 21 November and 8 March. Sixteen events were identified in the wave, wind and current-meter records for this period. Only two were local storms with southerly winds, but they caused about half of the seasonal net transport. Seven were swell events that combined long-period waves generated by distant storms with local currents. At the 90-m site, swells interacted with the mean northward flow to produce northward transport. During six northerly wind events, upwelling-favorable winds often were sufficient to slow or reverse the mean northward flow and thus caused southward transport. A single current event, which produced moderate southward transport, was observed at the 130-m site. Net transport during the winter experiment was offshore at all sites, northward at the inner- and mid-shelf sites, but southward at the outer-shelf site. The results suggest that local storms with southerly winds may dominate seasonal transport, as on the Washington shelf, but significant transport also can occur during fair weather and during periods of northerly winds. ?? 1994.
Additional publication details
Sediment-transport events on the northern California continental shelf during the 1990-1991 STRESS experiment