Ocean Eddies Generated by Seamounts in the North Pacific

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Science  10 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4333, pp. 1063-1064
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4333.1063-a


Small-scale (diameters of about 37 kilometers) fluctuations in dynamic topography north of Hawaii along 158°W are well correlated with upstream seamounts. The fluctuations are subsurface but are manifested as baroclinic eddies at the sea surface. These eddies are confirmed by direct observations and supported by theoretical considerations. The eddies cause small-scale variability in the currents and hydrographic structures in this area, and they should be considered in any sampling programs of the region.