Sea Level Variation as an Indicator of Florida Current Volume Transport: Comparisons with Direct Measurements

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Science  18 Jan 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4684, pp. 304-307
DOI: 10.1126/science.227.4684.304


Sea level measurements from tide gauges at Miami, Florida, and Cat Cay, Bahamas, and bottom pressure measurements from a water depth of 50 meters off Jupiter, Florida, and a water depth of 10 meters off Memory Rock, Bahamas, were correlated with 81 concurrent direct volume transport observations in the Straits of Florida. Daily-averaged sea level from either gauge on the Bahamian side of the Straits was poorly correlated with transport. Bottom pressure off Jupiter had a linear coefficient of determination ofr2 = 0.93, and Miami sea level, when adjusted for weather effects, had r2 = 0.74; the standard errors of estimating transports were ± 1.2 x 106 and ± 1.9 x 106 cubic meters per second, respectively. A linear multivariate regression, which combined bottom pressure, weather, and the submarine cable observations between Jupiter and the Bahamas, had r2 = 0.94 with a standard error of estimating transport of ± 1.1 x 106 cubic meters per second. These results suggest that a combination of easily obtained observations is sufficient to adequatelv monitor the daily volume transport fluctuations of the Florida Current.