Marine Science Faculty Publications

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The Gulf of Mexico Loop Current intruded upon the West Florida continental shelf in June 2000. In situ currents and hydrography along with satellite temperature and altimetry measurements are used to describe this event and its effects on the shelf. A strong southward current is observed to flow along the shelf slope seaward of the intruded water boundary. This current transported cold, nutrient-rich water from the north, thereby producing anomalous hydrographic features near the shelf break (80-m isobath). An array of moored velocity profilers reveals that the currents landward of the intruded water are independent of the Loop Current and primarily driven by local winds. A series of idealized numerical model simulations inclusive of forcing by both the Loop Current and local winds confirm the observational findings that the shelfbreak currents are largely Loop Current controlled while the shelf currents are largely controlled by the local winds.

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Journal of Physical Oceanography, v. 33, issue 2, p. 465-477

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