Transient Circulation Event near the Deep Ocean Floor

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Science  29 Aug 1969:
Vol. 165, Issue 3896, pp. 889-891
DOI: 10.1126/science.165.3896.889


On 24 January 1968, a transient deep-circulation event was recorded by a triangular array of autonomous current recorders installed 3 meters above the bottom at two of the three positions and at intervals of 3 to 1000 meters above the bottom at the third position in a depth of 3950 meters above the relatively smooth floor of the eastern North Pacific. The event interrupted a 24-hour record of relatively steady but peculiar conditions, lasted for about 1½ hours, and was followed by current directions and speeds that greatly differed from those of the initial period. The event occurred over a volume of the sea of at least 2 kilometers in horizontal dimensions and 1 kilometer thick. Associated with the event were many small clockwise-rotating features extending from 3 to at least 1000 meters above the bottom and a rapidly increasing current velocity at 1000 meters. The event was probably local and may have involved convective motion, internal waves, and the passage of front. Some of the changes in horizontal velocity may have resulted from the combined effects of upwelling and the earth's rotation.

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