Seasonal Variations of Steric and Recorded Sea Level of the Gulf of Mexico.
TEXAS A AND M UNIV COLLEGE STATION DEPT OF OCEANOGRAPHY
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Monthly mean steric sea levels geopotential relative to 150 db are computed for the Gulf of Mexico from monthly mean temperature fields and a constant salinity. The temperature distributions for the upper 150 m of the Gulf are determined from some 17,000 BT observations. The monthly topographies of the 22 degrees surface, which are roughly expended mirror images of sea-surface geopotential relative to a deep reference pressure, exhibit a set of regular annual changes. The Loop Current and its seasonal variation and the western high-pressure region are clearly indicated. The monthly steric sea levels relative to 150 db are found to agree with the known, large-scale, persistent features of the surface circulation although the indicated Loop Current is less intense than it is known to be. However, when the geopotential is taken relative to 1000 db for months with sufficient data, February and August, the topography gives velocities which agree quantitatively with known current velocities. The ranges of recorded sea level at nine tide stations around the Gulf are accounted for to the extent of 42-57 percent by the steric sea levels for regions of 150 m depth or more. Author
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography