Investigating costal current and eddy formation in a dynamic coastal setting.
Along the west coast of Canada, the surface currents over the shelf edge and continental slope appear to be related to regional and remote longshore wind forcing, and interannual variations are evident, with large episodic anomalies occurring during El Niño and La Niña years.
Hecate Strait and Dixon Entrance are northern coastal waters off British Columbia, characterized by complex and interesting ocean dynamics at the surface and in the vertical. For example, water transport through Hecate Strait were linked to cross-strait sea level difference. Eddies in Dixon Entrance are thought to force a surface outflow on the left side of the Entrance.
There are significant knowledge gaps on ocean dynamics in this region. For example, what are the local processes that affect the complex dynamics of coastal currents and eddy formation?
The objectives of the Hecate Strait and Dixon Entrance campaign are to validate SWOT data in a complex and dynamic coastal setting, to investigate genesis of Haida Eddies, to study coastal currents around Haida Gwaii, and to study flow exchange through Dixon Entrance.
Two oceanographic moorings for current, temperature, salinity, and bottom pressure have been deployed. Real-time tide-gauge data and drifter data will be collected during SWOT fast-sampling phase. In the same period, high frequency radar (CODAR) data in Hecate Strait will be collected, in coordination with Oceans Network Canada.
The Hecate Strait and Dixon Entrance campaign will improve knowledge of alongshore variations of the near-surface geostrophic currents.
The Hecate Strait and Dixon Entrance campaign is funded by the Surface Water and Ocean Topography – Canada (SWOT-C) Program of the Canadian Space Agency and by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Principal investigators: Guoqi Han, Charles Hannah (Institute of Ocean Sciences).
Contact point for the study site: Guoqi Han (Guoqi.Han@dfo-mpo.gc.ca)