National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1994

Circulation in the Bering Sea basin observed by satellite-tracked drifters: 1986–1993

Stabeno, P.J., and R.K. Reed

J. Phys. Oceanogr., 24(4), 848–854, doi: 10.1175/1520-0485(1994)024<0848:CITBSB>2.0.CO;2 (1994)

From 1986 through April 1993, 86 satellite-tracked buoys were deployed in the North Pacific and Bering Sea. Most of the buoys were drogued at 40 m. A composite current pattern is derived using these data. The two principal currents (the Alaskan Stream and Kamchatka Current) are clearly evident. Eddy kinetic-mean kinetic energy ratios are low in the Stream and along the western Bering Sea basin. An eastward flowing current occurred along the north flank of the Aleutian Islands; this flow was modified by inflow at the passes. Westward flow occurred north of 56°N; its source was the Bering Slope Current. The Kamchatka Current originated near 175°E along the Russian coast. Numerous eddies and meanders were observed in the Kamchatka Current; eddies were also present on the eastern side of the basin.

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