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Free Content Recent interannual upper ocean variability in the deep southeastern Bering Sea

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Recent seasonal and interannual variability of the upper ocean in the southeast Aleutian Basin of the Bering Sea is related to air sea fluxes, ocean advection, and mixing. Between the winter of 2001/2002 and that of 2002/2003 a warming and freshening of the upper ocean was observed in data from a regional array of profiling Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) floats. The mild winter of 2002/2003 resulted in an unusually warm, fresh, light, and shallow winter mixed layer and a weakly ventilated temperature minimum layer. These unusual winter conditions contributed to a substantial reduction in the subsurface temperature inversion characteristic of the southeast Aleutian Basin. Heat budget analysis, one-dimensional upper ocean model runs, and altimeter sea-surface height anomalies suggest that a combination of atypical ocean advection and anomalous atmospheric forcing contributed to the unusual upper ocean conditions in 2002/2003. The observed warming and disappearance of the temperature minimum in 2002/2003 appears to have preconditioned the water column toward a similar structure in 2003/2004, despite a return to more normal atmospheric forcing.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-03-01

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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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