Seasonal variability of sea surface temperature fronts on Georges Bank

T. Mavor and J. Bisagni

Sea surface temperature (SST) fronts, extracted from archived (1985-1996) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data, are determined in the Georges Bank region. Resulting frontal locations clearly show the seasonal development of the tidal mixing front on Georges Bank. The probability of detecting an SST front at an individual pixel on Georges Bank is presented as a monthly climatology. Variations in the probability, position, and associated water depth of SST fronts in the Georges Bank region show the development of the tidal mixing front during the summer, as well as the presence of a persistent front near the shelfbreak. Further evidence indicates that the mean position of detected SST fronts on southern Georges Bank changes approximately 10 kilometers on-bank from late-spring to mid-summer. Comparison of detected SST fronts to historical hydrographic data on Georges Bank points to the fronts being located in increasingly stratified water from May through August.

Monthly Frontal Probabilities

Monthly Frontal Probabilities, May through October