Interaction between the Tidal and Seasonal Variability of the Gulf of Maine and Scotian Shelf Region

Anna Katavouta, Keith R. Thompson, Youyu Lu, John W. Loder
2016 Journal of Physical Oceanography  
As part of a broader study of ocean downscaling, the seasonal and tidal variability of the Gulf of Maine and Scotian shelf, and their dynamical interaction, are investigated using a high-resolution ( 1 /368) circulation model. The model's seasonal hydrography and circulation, and its tidal elevations and currents, are compared with an observed seasonal climatology, local observations, and results from previous studies. Numerical experiments with and without density stratification demonstrate
more » ... tion demonstrate the influence of stratification on the tides. The model is then used to interpret the physical mechanisms responsible for the largest seasonal variations in the M 2 surface current that occur over, and to the north of, Georges Bank. The model generates a striation pattern of alternating highs and lows, aligned with Georges Bank, in the M 2 surface summer maximum speed in the Gulf of Maine. The striations are consistent with observations by a high-frequency coastal radar system and can be explained in terms of a linear superposition of the barotropic tide and the first-mode baroclinic tide, generated on the north side of Georges Bank, as it propagates into the Gulf of Maine. The seasonal changes in tidal currents in the well-mixed area on Georges Bank are due to a combination of increased sea level gradients, and lower vertical viscosity, in summer.
doi:10.1175/jpo-d-15-0091.1 fatcat:pdb6lrbf5zeanaewamh7ydkvfm