Abstract for "Currents over the Continental Slope off Point Arena, California"

Between June 1992 and June 1994, the mesoscale flow field over the continental slope south of Point Arena, California, was measured using an array of five current meter moorings. These moorings were deployed in a cross pattern, with 3 moorings forming a cross-slope transect (ME at 415m, MC at 1975m and MW at 2975m); MC and the other 2 moorings (MN and MS) formed a three-element transect along the 1975m isobath. The inshore mooring was located near the same isobath as the CODE C5 mooring. Separations between nearest moorings was approximately 14 km.

The poleward undercurrent was a prominent feature of the measurements over the upper slope. Mean alongslope (330T) currents were poleward at all instruments deeper than 100m, with a maximum at the 150m instrument on each mooring. Each instrument also showed a weak onshore component of mean flow. Current fluctuations were strongly steered alongslope at the inshore mooring (415m isobath). Cross-slope current fluctuations were larger farther from shore and nearer the sea surface. Upper-ocean slope currents at MC and MW showed extended episodes of strong on-shore flow, including two month-long bursts during the summer of 1993. In April-May 1993, slope currents rotated cyclonically when satellite imagery showed a coastal filament sweeping offshore across the array. In mid-January 1994, an anticyclonic eddy (relative vorticity < -f/3 at 150m) passed over the array.

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