National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2000

Evidence of episodic on-shelf flow in the southeastern Bering Sea

Stabeno, P.J., and P. Van Meurs

J. Geophys. Res., 104(C12), 29,715–29,720, doi: 10.1029/1999JC900242 (1999)

Trajectories from satellite-tracked drifters released over the continental slope (depth 250-500 m) in the southeastern Bering Sea revealed an episodic event of on-shelf flow. The first set of seven drifters followed the isobaths northwestward at speeds of 20-40 cm s−1; the second set, released 12 days later, moved 60~km onto the shelf at speeds of 10-15 cm s−1. Meanders or eddies were evident in the trajectories as the drifters were advected onto the shelf. An anticyclonic eddy formed at the shoreward termination of on-shelf flow (120 m isobath). The eddy dissipated in 8-10 days. Such events can be important mechanisms in replenishing nutrients and introducing oceanic plankton and larvae onto the shelf.

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