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Free Content A comparison of transport and position between the Gulf Stream east of Cape Hatteras and the Florida Current

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The Florida Current (FC) transport and Gulf Stream (GS) transport and position have been measured almost continuously for many decades in the Florida Straits at ∼27° N and for the last 20 years at ∼38° N along the Oleander line, respectively. Variations in both currents have been linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Here we show five different proxies for the position of the GS near the Oleander line and find all five measures internally consistent. Further, using a zonally averaged index, the local measurements prove to be good representatives of overall meridional shifting of the current (between Cape Hatteras and the New England Seamounts). The second part of the study shows that the statistical relationship between the GS position proxies and the GS and FC transports, in turn, is inversely correlated with r values of approximately –0.30, significant at the 85% level. The GS and FC transports themselves, on the other hand, are not significantly correlated. Although both position and transport for the GS are shown to be linked to the NAO, the lack of a robust relationship between the GS and the FC transports indicates that the FC does not have a detectable interannual signal downstream in the GS.

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Keywords: FLORIDA CURRENT; GULF STREAM; INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY; NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION; TRANSPORT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2014

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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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