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Observations of the Flow of Abyssal Water through the Samoa Passage

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  • 1 Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada
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Abstract

During the fall of 1994 a conductivity–temperature–depth/hydrographic survey was carried out as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment one-time survey, Line P15N. The survey included standard water properties required by WOCE. Line P15N extended southward from the Aleutian Islands along 165°W into the vicinity of the Samoa Passage. The line was adjusted to follow the axis of the passage, and time was found to complete a cross-section survey across the passage. This paper will present geostrophic computations of flow velocities through the gap, including transport estimates, and will present longitudinal plots of properties. The longitudinal plots show evidence of hydraulic control at the sill in the Samoa Passage. A best estimate of northward transport of water colder than 1.2°C (potential temperature) is determined to be 8.4 Sv.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Howard Freeland, Institute of Ocean Sciences, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC V8L 4B2, Canada. Email: freelandhj@pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Abstract

During the fall of 1994 a conductivity–temperature–depth/hydrographic survey was carried out as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment one-time survey, Line P15N. The survey included standard water properties required by WOCE. Line P15N extended southward from the Aleutian Islands along 165°W into the vicinity of the Samoa Passage. The line was adjusted to follow the axis of the passage, and time was found to complete a cross-section survey across the passage. This paper will present geostrophic computations of flow velocities through the gap, including transport estimates, and will present longitudinal plots of properties. The longitudinal plots show evidence of hydraulic control at the sill in the Samoa Passage. A best estimate of northward transport of water colder than 1.2°C (potential temperature) is determined to be 8.4 Sv.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Howard Freeland, Institute of Ocean Sciences, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC V8L 4B2, Canada. Email: freelandhj@pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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