National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

[Full Text]

FY 1996

An eddy-resolving model of circulation on the western Gulf of Alaska shelf. 2. Comparison of results to oceanographic observations

Stabeno, P.J., and A.J. Hermann

J. Geophys. Res., 101(C1), 1151–1161, doi: 10.1029/95JC02682 (1996)

Currents generated by an eddy-resolving, semispectral primitive equation model are compared with those measured by moored current meters (1989 and 1991) and satellite-tracked drifting buoys (1987) from Shelikof Strait, Alaska. The model reproduced many of the dominant circulation features, including the cross-sectional spatial structure of the Alaskan Coastal Current, the estuarine inflow at the bottom of the sea valley, and the mean transport. The first-mode empirical orthogonal functions of the model and of the observed data represent similar spatial structures and were significantly correlated in time. While the model produced eddies (>20-km diameter) at a similar rate as observed, the timing did not generally match the observations. As a result, correlations between the measured currents and model-generated currents usually were not significant. Correlations between modeled and measured transport through the sea valley, however, were significant for both years.

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