Drifters released offshore of Oregon during predominantly downwelling favorable alongshore winds during three different deployments (October 1994, January 1998, and September 1998) display similar behavior: after being advected around in the offshore eddy field, they move onshore to a particular isobath and are advected poleward alongshore, without coming ashore. Numerical modeling results suggest that this may be due to downwelling circulation creating a marginally stable density gradient on the shelf inshore of the downwelling front, thereby increasing the vertical eddy diffusivity, which reduces the effective cross-shelf Ekman transport to nearly zero. The downwelling front itself is accompanied by a poleward jet, which carries drifters rapidly to the north. This behavior is consistent with previous modeling results.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Physical Oceanography|
|State||Published - Nov 2002|