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An eddy-resolving model of circulation on the western Gulf of Alaska shelf. 2. Comparison of results to oceanographic observations

P. J. Stabeno

Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA, Seattle, Washington

A. J. Hermann

Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle
(Also at Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA, Seattle, Washington)

Journal of Geophysical Research, 101(C1), 1151-1161 (1996).
Copyright ©1996 by the American Geophysical Union. Further electronic distribution is not allowed.


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.

The Model
Current Meters
Satellite-Tracked Drifting Buoys
Wind Forcing
Buoyancy Forcing
Comparison Between Observations and Model Simulations
Current Meter Observations
EOF Analysis
Drifting Buoy Trajectories (and Acknowledgments)

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