Currents in monterey submarine canyon

Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans
By:  and 



Flow fields of mean, subtidal, and tidal frequencies between 250 and 3300 m water depths in Monterey Submarine Canyon are examined using current measurements obtained in three yearlong field experiments. Spatial variations in flow fields are mainly controlled by the topography (shape and width) of the canyon. The mean currents flow upcanyon in the offshore reaches (>1000 m) and downcanyon in the shallow reaches (<800 m) of the canyon. Tidal currents, especially the semidiurnal components, are dominant and account for more than 90% of total energy. Pulses of strong currents near the canyon floor, which last several days at a time and have a magnitude as high as 60+ cm/s, are attributed to intense baroclinic processes occurring within the canyon. The V-shaped canyon walls and the near-critical slope of the canyon floor focus the baroclinic tides of semidiurnal and higher frequencies to the canyon bottom to produce the >100-m amplitude isotherm oscillations and associated high-speed rectilinear currents. The 15-day spring-neap cycle and a ???3-day??? band are the two prominent frequencies in subtidal flow field. Neither of them seems directly correlated with the spring-neap cycle of the sea level.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Currents in monterey submarine canyon
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans
DOI 10.1029/2008JC004992
Volume 114
Issue 3
Year Published 2009
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans