WHOI component of eastern flank frontal exchange moored array study

R. Beardsley, R. Limeburner, C. Flagg, P. Smith, J. Loder, and C. Hannah

A joint US/Canadian moored array was deployed during 1998-1999 to investigate frontal exchange processes which occur in the Browns Bank - eastern Georges Bank area during winter through spring. These processes include a) the flow of water and biota onto Georges Bank along the northeastern flank driven by the strong local semidiurnal tidal currents (which can reach ~1.5 m/s during spring tide) and winter storms, and b) the episodic advection of Scotian Shelf water directly across the Northeast Channel onto the Bank ("cross-over" events). The moored array data will be combined with other in-situ data (especially drifter and hydrographic data) and modeling to develop a better understanding of the physics of this dynamic region.

The Browns Bank (BBI, BBO) and Northeast Channel (NECE, NECW) moorings were deployed by the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. The Georges Bank northern flank (NFS, NFD) and eastern flank (EF) moorings were deployed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Brookhave National Laboratories (BNL). The northeast peak (NP) mooring was deployed by Jim Irish (WHOI). Due in part to the very strong currents and large waves which occurred over eastern Georges Bank in winter and the original mooring designs, the NFS and EF surface moorings moved and had to be replaced. The NFD surface mooring also failed and was replaced.

At this time, all moorings have been recovered and preliminary data processing has begun.