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Bottom Temperature Fluctuations in the Northeast Pacific Ocean at Depth 920 to 1140 m

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  • 1 Bell Telephone Laboratories, Whippany, New Jersey
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Abstract

Motions of water at medium depths on the continental slopes have seldom been measured. In this experiment, seven thermistors were placed on the ocean bottom at depths from 920 to 1410 m on the continental slope from 32° to 47°N in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Daily readings were taken for up to five years. Maximum-to-minimum fluctuation of the isotherms were as much as 320 m. A temperature decline in March coincides with the spring reversal of surface current. The largest oscillation is semiannual, and its amplitude shows little or no dependence upon latitude. The amplitude of the annual oscillation increases in the poleward direction. The Madden–Julian oscillation is prominent in the temperature spectra and cross spectra at 48 to 50 days periodicity; its amplitude has little dependence upon latitude.

Corresponding author address: Howard W. Broek, 57 White Oak Circle, St. Charles, IL 60174-4164.

Abstract

Motions of water at medium depths on the continental slopes have seldom been measured. In this experiment, seven thermistors were placed on the ocean bottom at depths from 920 to 1410 m on the continental slope from 32° to 47°N in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Daily readings were taken for up to five years. Maximum-to-minimum fluctuation of the isotherms were as much as 320 m. A temperature decline in March coincides with the spring reversal of surface current. The largest oscillation is semiannual, and its amplitude shows little or no dependence upon latitude. The amplitude of the annual oscillation increases in the poleward direction. The Madden–Julian oscillation is prominent in the temperature spectra and cross spectra at 48 to 50 days periodicity; its amplitude has little dependence upon latitude.

Corresponding author address: Howard W. Broek, 57 White Oak Circle, St. Charles, IL 60174-4164.

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