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Eddies around Guam, an island in the Mariana Islands group
Wolanski, E.; Richmond, R.H.; Davis, G.; Deleersnijder, E.; Leben, R.R. (2003). Eddies around Guam, an island in the Mariana Islands group. Cont. Shelf Res. 23(10): 991-1003. dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0278-4343(03)00087-6
In: Continental Shelf Research. Pergamon Press: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0278-4343, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 114366 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Altimetry; Coral reefs; Oceanic eddies; Oceanic islands; IS, North Equatorial Current [Marine Regions]; ISEW, Marianas, Guam [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    eddies; oceanic islands; North Equatorial Current; altimetry; coral reefs; Guam

Authors  Top 
  • Wolanski, E., more
  • Richmond, R.H.
  • Davis, G.
  • Deleersnijder, E., more
  • Leben, R.R.

Abstract
    Near-surface currents around Guam, a 35 km long, slab-shaped island in the Mariana Islands group, were estimated from current meters, satellite-derived surface topography, and a numerical model. A dominant northwestward-flowing North Equatorial Current prevailed from June to December 2000, with speeds typically 0.1-0.2 m s-1, generating unsteady eddies in the lee of Guam. A number of transient eddies off the tips of the island were apparent, the smallest eddies were at the scale of local topographic features such as headlands and embayments, while other eddies were island size. In addition to eddies off the tips of the island, a large (200 km in diameter) cyclonic oceanic eddy was advected eastward past Guam during the last 2 weeks of August 2000. Centered on Guam for a few days, this eddy formed elsewhere and impinged on the island generating anticlockwise currents around the island of up to 0.5 m s-1. It is suggested that these eddies are sufficiently energetic to return fish and coral eggs and larvae to their natal reefs in Guam, thereby enabling self-seeding of coral reefs in Guam. The numerical model also predicts that large (up to 30 m amplitude) island-generated internal waves may occur around Guam; however, no observations are presently available to support this prediction.

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