skip to main content

Title: Along-Stream Evolution of Gulf Stream Volume Transport
Abstract The Gulf Stream affects global climate by transporting water and heat poleward. The current’s volume transport increases markedly along the U.S. East Coast. An extensive observing program using autonomous underwater gliders provides finescale, subsurface observations of hydrography and velocity spanning more than 15° of latitude along the path of the Gulf Stream, thereby filling a 1500-km-long gap between long-term transport measurements in the Florida Strait and downstream of Cape Hatteras. Here, the glider-based observations are combined with shipboard measurements along Line W near 68°W to provide a detailed picture of the along-stream transport increase. To account for the influences of Gulf Stream curvature and adjacent circulation (e.g., corotating eddies) on transport estimates, upper- and lower-bound transports are constructed for each cross–Gulf Stream transect. The upper-bound estimate for time-averaged volume transport above 1000 m is 32.9 ± 1.2 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) in the Florida Strait, 57.3 ± 1.9 Sv at Cape Hatteras, and 75.6 ± 4.7 Sv at Line W. Corresponding lower-bound estimates are 32.3 ± 1.1 Sv in the Florida Strait, 54.5 ± 1.7 Sv at Cape Hatteras, and 69.9 ± 4.2 Sv at Line W. Using the temperature and salinity observations from gliders and more » Line W, waters are divided into seven classes to investigate the properties of waters that are transported by and entrained into the Gulf Stream. Most of the increase in overall Gulf Stream volume transport above 1000 m stems from the entrainment of subthermocline waters, including upper Labrador Sea Water and Eighteen Degree Water. « less
Award ID(s):
1923362 1633911
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Physical Oceanography
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
2251 to 2270
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract
    Excessive phosphorus (P) applications to croplands can contribute to eutrophication of surface waters through surface runoff and subsurface (leaching) losses. We analyzed leaching losses of total dissolved P (TDP) from no-till corn, hybrid poplar (Populus nigra X P. maximowiczii), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus), native grasses, and restored prairie, all planted in 2008 on former cropland in Michigan, USA. All crops except corn (13 kg P ha−1 year−1) were grown without P fertilization. Biomass was harvested at the end of each growing season except for poplar. Soil water at 1.2 m depth was sampled weekly to biweekly for TDP determination during March–November 2009–2016 using tension lysimeters. Soil test P (0–25 cm depth) was measured every autumn. Soil water TDP concentrations were usually below levels where eutrophication of surface waters is frequently observed (> 0.02 mg L−1) but often higher than in deep groundwater or nearby streams and lakes. Rates of P leaching, estimated from measured concentrations and modeled drainage, did not differ statistically among cropping systems across years; 7-year cropping system means ranged from 0.035 to 0.072 kg P ha−1 year−1 with large interannual variation. Leached P was positively related to STP, which decreased over the 7 years in all systems. These results indicate that both P-fertilized and unfertilized cropping systems mayMore>>
  2. Abstract. The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) has been observed continuously at 26° N since April 2004. The AMOC and its component parts are monitored by combining a transatlantic array of moored instruments with submarine-cable-based measurements of the Gulf Stream and satellite derived Ekman transport. The time series has recently been extended to October 2012 and the results show a downward trend since 2004. From April 2008 to March 2012, the AMOC was an average of 2.7 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1) weaker than in the first four years of observation (95% confidence that the reduction is 0.3 Sv or more). Ekman transport reduced by about 0.2 Sv and the Gulf Stream by 0.5 Sv but most of the change (2.0 Sv) is due to the mid-ocean geostrophic flow. The change of the mid-ocean geostrophic flow represents a strengthening of the southward flow above the thermocline. The increased southward flow of warm waters is balanced by a decrease in the southward flow of lower North Atlantic deep water below 3000 m. The transport of lower North Atlantic deep water slowed by 7% per year (95% confidence that the rate of slowing is greater than 2.5% per year).
  3. Abstract
    Site description. This data package consists of data obtained from sampling surface soil (the 0-7.6 cm depth profile) in black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) dominated forest and black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) saltmarsh along the Gulf of Mexico coastline in peninsular west-central Florida, USA. This location has a subtropical climate with mean daily temperatures ranging from 15.4 °C in January to 27.8 °C in August, and annual precipitation of 1336 mm. Precipitation falls as rain primarily between June and September. Tides are semi-diurnal, with 0.57 m median amplitudes during the year preceding sampling (U.S. NOAA National Ocean Service, Clearwater Beach, Florida, station 8726724). Sea-level rise is 4.0 ± 0.6 mm per year (1973-2020 trend, mean ± 95 % confidence interval, NOAA NOS Clearwater Beach station). The A. germinans mangrove zone is either adjacent to water or fringed on the seaward side by a narrow band of red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). A near-monoculture of J. roemerianus is often adjacent to and immediately landward of the A. germinans zone. The transition from the mangrove to the J. roemerianus zone is variable in our study area. An abrupt edge between closed-canopy mangrove and J. roemerianus monoculture may extend for up to several hundred metersMore>>
  4. The densest overflow water from the Nordic Seas passes through the Faroe Bank Channel and contributes to the headwaters to the lower limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The upstream pathways of this dense overflow water are not well known. Using data from a high-resolution hydrographic/velocity survey in 2011, as well as long-term moored velocity and shipboard hydrographic measurements north of the Faroe Islands, we present evidence of a current following the continental slope from Iceland toward the Faroe Bank Channel. This narrow current, which we call the Iceland-Faroe Slope Jet (IFSJ), is bottom-intensified and associated with dense water banked up on the slope. North of the Faroe Islands the IFSJ is situated beneath the Faroe Current, and its variability is tightly linked to the flow of Atlantic Water above. The bulk of the IFSJ’s volume transport is confined to a small area in ϴ-S space centered near a potential density anomaly of 28.06 kg m-3. This is slightly denser than the transport mode of the North Icelandic Jet, which follows shallower isobaths along the slope north of Iceland in the opposite direction and feeds the Denmark Strait overflow. However, the similarity of the hydrographic properties suggests that themore »two currents have a common source. The average transport of water denser than σϴ = 27.8 kg m-3 in the IFSJ is on the order of 1 Sv, which may account for roughly 50% of the overflow through the Faroe Bank Channel.« less
  5. The North Icelandic Jet (NIJ) is an important source of dense water to the overflow plume passing through Denmark Strait. The properties, structure, and transport of the NIJ are investigated for the first time along its entire pathway following the continental slope north of Iceland, using 13 hydrographic/velocity surveys of high spatial resolution conducted between 2004 and 2018. The comprehensive dataset reveals that the current originates northeast of Iceland and increases in volume transport by roughly 0.4 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 10 6 m 3 s −1 ) per 100 km until 300 km upstream of Denmark Strait, at which point the highest transport is reached. The bulk of the NIJ transport is confined to a small area in Θ– S space centered near −0.29° ± 0.16°C in Conservative Temperature and 35.075 ± 0.006 g kg −1 in Absolute Salinity. While the hydrographic properties of this transport mode are not significantly modified along the NIJ’s pathway, the transport estimates vary considerably between and within the surveys. Neither a clear seasonal signal nor a consistent link to atmospheric forcing was found, but barotropic and/or baroclinic instability is likely active in the current. The NIJ displays a double-core structure in roughly 50%more »of the occupations, with the two cores centered at the 600- and 800-m isobaths, respectively. The transport of overflow water 300 km upstream of Denmark Strait exceeds 1.8 ± 0.3 Sv, which is substantially larger than estimates from a year-long mooring array and hydrographic/velocity surveys closer to the strait, where the NIJ merges with the separated East Greenland Current. This implies a more substantial contribution of the NIJ to the Denmark Strait overflow plume than previously envisaged.« less