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Diapycnal flow through a tidal front: a dye tracer study on Georges Bank
Houghton, R.W. (2002). Diapycnal flow through a tidal front: a dye tracer study on Georges Bank. J. Mar. Syst. 37(1-2): 31-46. dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0924-7963(02)00194-x
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Bottom mixed layer; Dye dispersion; Heat flow; Lagrangian current measurement; Temperature gradients; Tidal dynamics; ANW, Georges Bank [Marine Regions]; Marine

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  • Houghton, R.W.

Abstract
    A fluorescent dye tracer, fluorescein, injected into the bottom mixed layer (BML) at the off-bank edge of the tidal front on Georges Bank in late May and early June 1999 has provided the first quantitative measurement of an on-bank diapycnal Lagrangian flow through the front. From the warming of the dye patch, 1.9×10−6 and 7.6×10−6 °C/s on the south flank and northeast peak, respectively, as it passed through the frontal temperature gradient, we infer a mean on-bank flow of 1.6 cm/s on the south flank and 3.1 cm/s on the northeast peak. The heat flux required for this warming is predominantly due to vertical mixing within the tidal front. From the dispersion of the dye patch, we estimate a vertical diffusivity of 1.6 and 3.1×10−3 m2/s and a cross-front diffusivity of 18 and 30 m2/s on the south flank and northeast peak, respectively. The evolution of a second dye injection on the south flank was distinctly different from the first because of the proximity of the foot of shelfbreak front now displaced onto the bank by a transient meander to within 6 km of the tidal front. Although the dispersion of this patch was the same as for the first injection, its cross-bank displacement was much less reflecting the divergence of the cross-bank flow in this region.

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