Florida Current: Low-Frequency Variability as Observed with Moored Current Meters During April 1982 to June 1983

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Science  18 Jan 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4684, pp. 298-302
DOI: 10.1126/science.227.4684.298


A 1-year time series of volume transport through the Florida Straits near 27 °N was derived from an array of five subsurface current meter moorings. The transport estimates, determined on the basis of constant shear extrapolation of the subsurface velocities to the surface, are in good agreement with transports derived from submarine cable and Pegasus measurements. The annual transport cycle in 1982-1983 is complicated by large-amplitude fluctuations on time scales of 1 to 3 weeks, but it does exhibit a transport maximum in summer and a minimum in fall-winter, consistent with historical results and of similar magnitude. The energy density spectrum of transports is continuous with a slope of about -1.5 and does not show a gap between the periods of weeks and seasonal. Evidence was found for atmospheric forcing of transport fluctuations, with highest coherence between transport and the local meridional wind stress at periods of 10 and 15 days during the summer and 5 and 40 days during the winter.