National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2007

Northern Gulf of Alaska eddies and associated anomalies

Ladd, C., C.W. Mordy, N.B. Kachel, and P.J. Stabeno

Deep-Sea Res. I, 54, 487–509, doi: 10.1016/j.dsr.2007.01.006 (2007)

In recent years, large anticyclonic eddies have been observed quasi-annually in the region seaward of Kodiak Island, Alaska. In situ sampling in 3 of these eddies was undertaken in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Satellite altimetry data showed that these 3 eddies had 3 different formation regions but their translation pathways were similar near Kodiak Island. Eddies in this region can persist for several years, moving southwestward along the Alaskan Peninsula to the Aleutian Archipelago. Water properties in the cores of the 2003 and 2004 eddies were significantly different from each other, probably because the 2003 eddy formed on the shelf near Yakutat while the 2004 eddy formed farther out in the basin in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Calculation of heat, salinity, and nutrient anomalies associated with the eddies showed that, in their subsurface core waters, the eddies carry excess heat, salt, nitrate and silicic acid seaward from the eddy formation regions.

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