CTD and velocity surveys of seaward jets off Northern California, July 1981 and 1982 Public Deposited

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  • Two mesoscale surveys were conducted (in July 1981 and July 1982) near Point Arena, California, to determine the structure and circulation associated with tongues of cold surface water extending seaward from the coastal zone. Both surveys were designed at sea on the basis of available satellite IR data, and each was completed in less than a week. Sampling extended 100 km alongshore and 150 km (1981) to 250 km (1982) offshore, and included conductivity, temperature, and depth casts to 500 dbar, and continuous ocean current profiling to 150 m by means of a Doppler acoustic log. Both surveys showed that the tongues of cold water seen in the satellite images were the surface manifestation of hydrographic and current anomalies that extended to a depth of at least 100 m. In each case, strong seaward flow was observed along the northern edge of the cold tongue, which also marked a shallow water mass boundary between low-salinity (< 32.8 ppt) surface waters to the north and high-salinity (> 33.2 ppt) waters to the south. The seaward jets were very strong (up to 80 cm/s) and narrow (30 km), with strong shears (up to 10- 2 S- 1 in the vertical and up to 10^(-4)/s in the horizontal). They were largely geostrophic, had transports exceeding 1.5 sverdrups, and can persist for 2-3 weeks. The seaward jets seemed to be continuous with southward flowing alongshore coastal jets. There is evidence that the seaward jets are recurrent features in the vicinity of Point Arena.
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  • Kosro, P. M., & Huyer, A. (1986). CTD and velocity surveys of seaward jets off Northern California, July 1981 and 1982. Journal of Geophysical Research, 91(C6), 7680-7690.
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