Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Weifeng Gordon Zhang

»Pinocchio's Nose Intrusion
»Dynamics of shelfbreak frontal meander
»Polynya dense water dispersal
»Internal wave generation and propagation in a shelfbreak canyon
»shelfbreak internal wave generation
»shelfbreak biological productivity
»shelfbreak mean circulation
»Model-based observing system design
»4DVar data assimilation in the New York Bight area
»Mean age and residence time in the New York Bight area
»Hudson River plume spreading
»Adjoint sensitivity analysis in the Hudson River plume region
»Eddy activities in the separation region of the East Australian Current

Weifeng G. Zhang and Glen G. Gawarkiewicz, Dynamics of the Direct Intrusion of Gulf Stream Ring Water onto the Mid-Atlantic Bight Shelf, Geophysical Research Letters, 2015

Onshore intrusions of offshore waters onto the Mid-Atlantic Bight shelf can greatly affect shelf circulation, biogeochemistry and fisheries. Previous studies have concentrated on onshore intrusions of slope water. Here we present a direct intrusion of Gulf Stream warm-core ring water onto the shelf representing a previously unknown exchange process at the shelfbreak. Impingement of warm-core rings at the shelfbreak generates along-isobath intrusions that grow like Pinocchio’s nose, extending hundreds of kilometers to the southwest. By combining satellite and Ocean Observatory Initiative Pioneer Array data and idealized numerical simulations, we discover that the intrusion results from topographically induced vorticity variation of the ring water, rather than from entrainment of the shelfbreak frontal jet. This intrusion of the Gulf Stream ring water has important biogeochemical implications and could facilitate migration of marine species across the shelfbreak barrier and transport low-nutrient surface Gulf Stream ring water to the otherwise productive shelfbreak region.

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