National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1994

A census of mesoscale eddies in Shelikof Strait, Alaska, during 1989

Bograd, S.J., P.J. Stabeno, and J.D. Schumacher

J. Geophys. Res., 99(C9), 18,243–18,254, doi: 10.1029/94JC01269 (1994)

Over a 5-month period in the spring and summer of 1989, 12 mesoscale eddies were identified crossing a section of moored current meters in the Shelikof sea valley. This represents the first census of mesoscale eddies on the northwestern Gulf of Alaska continental shelf. The majority of eddies (7) were observed in May and June. Anticyclonic eddies outnumbered cyclonic eddies two to one, but all had characteristics similar to eddies previously observed in the region. Analysis of the current meter time series revealed that the mean speeds, volume transport, and the structure of the flow at the present location were similar to current meter and hydrographic measurements during other years in the sea valley. We suggest that 1989 was a typical year in terms of eddy formation as well. The proliferation of mesoscale eddies in this region in spring has an impact on the larval dispersal and eventual recruitment of walleye pollock.

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