U.S. Dept. of Commerce / NOAA / OAR / PMEL / Publications
Currents generated by an eddy-resolving, semispectral primitive equation model are compared with those measured by moored current meters (1989 and 1991) and satellite-tracked drifting buoys (1987) from Shelikof Strait, Alaska. The model reproduced many of the dominant circulation features, including the cross-sectional spatial structure of the Alaskan Coastal Current, the estuarine inflow at the bottom of the sea valley, and the mean transport. The first-mode empirical orthogonal functions of the model and of the observed data represent similar spatial structures and were significantly correlated in time. While the model produced eddies (>20-km diameter) at a similar rate as observed, the timing did not generally match the observations. As a result, correlations between the measured currents and model-generated currents usually were not significant. Correlations between modeled and measured transport through the sea valley, however, were significant for both years.
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