Broad-scale hydrography - interannual variability in water properties

D. Mountain, M. Taylor, C. Bascuñán

The hydrographic data collected on the Broad-scale surveys is used to illustrate the interannual variability in water properties which occurred during the GLOBEC program (1995-1999). Salinity of the Georges Bank waters decreased progressively from 1995 to 1998, becoming nearly one unit below the MARMAP reference value. During 1999 the salinity began to increase and by June was approaching the MARMAP reference. The salinity variabiliy is believed to be associated with changes in the properties and amount of the two major inflows to the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank system – Scotian Shelf Water entering around Cape Sable and Slope Water entering at depth through the Northeast Channel. Temperature exhibited only modest interannual variability, with a variation of about 1.5° C between years. 1996 was the coolest year and 1999 the warmest, closely followed by 1995.