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Free Content Accurately monitoring the Florida Current with motionally induced voltages

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A new experimental technique for appraising how accurately submarine-cable (subcable) voltages monitor oceanic volume transport is presented and then used to study voltages induced by the northern Florida Current. Until recently, subcable voltages have been largely dismissed as an oceanographic tool because their interpretation can be ambiguous. They depend upon the transport field, the electrical conductance of the environment, and the mutual spatial distribution of these two quantities. To examine how these three factors affect subcable voltages at a particular site, we combine data from two different velocity profilers: XCP and PEGASUS. These instruments provide vertical profiles of velocity, temperature, and motion ally induced voltage at several sites across a transect. From this information, we determine if and why subcable voltages track volume transport. We conclude that subcable voltages measured in the northern Florida Straits accurately monitor the Florida Current transport because they are insensitive to the spatial distribution of the flow—a result that stems from a large and rather uniform seabed conductance. Subcable voltages should be reconsidered for oceanic monitoring elsewhere because the validity of their interpretation can now be assessed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1987-11-01

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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