Scotian Shelf cross-overs during winter/spring 1999

P. C. Smith, J. A. Shore, C. G. Hannah, D. Lawrence, J. W. Loder,
D. J. Lawrence, and R. Limeburner

Satellite imagery (AVHRR) and the trajectories of 10-m drogued drifters, deployed regularly on the southern and western flanks of Browns Bank during winter/spring 1999 show a high degree of variability in drift pathways, and a significant frequency of cross-overs of near-surface waters to Georges Bank. Statistics reveal that after 10 days, roughly 50% (15-20%) of the drifters have penetrated the 200-m (100-m) isobath on the southeastern flank of Georges. After 60 days, 25% (20%) have crossed the 100-m (60-m) isobath. Model studies indicate that such behavior is qualitatively consistent with drift pathways in the seasonal mean flow fields, but the observed rates of drift are roughly twice those found in the model.