Tom Connolly

Moss Landing Marine Labs

New perspectives on inner-shelf circulation from a coastal ocean observatory

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Pacific Forum—11:00 a.m.

The inner continental shelf encompasses shallow depths where the turbulent wind-driven surface layer interacts with the bottom frictional layer. The complex physical dynamics of the inner shelf govern the exchange of heat, nutrients, and other tracers between the surf zone and deeper ocean. A twelve-year time series of oceanographic and meteorological observations from the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory, off the southern coast of Massachusetts, is used to demonstrate mechanisms for variability at a broad range of time scales over the inner shelf. In addition, results from a recent field study are presented in which fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing is used to collect real-time data with 1-m resolution over a distance of 5 km. The implementation of this technology, facilitated by the infrastructure for power and communication at the observatory, provides a perspective on inner-shelf circulation that is not captured by traditional mooring observations or remote sensing.

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Next: March 9, Colleen Durkin


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