Observation-Based Resource Assessment of Gulf Stream MHK
Multi-year measurements of current velocity, salinity, and temperature from fixed and vessel-mounted sensors quantify Gulf Stream (GS) MHK resource variability and inform development off Cape Hatteras, NC. Vessel transects across the GS demonstrate a jet-like velocity structure with speeds exceeding 2.5 m/s at the surface, persistent horizontal shear throughout the jet, and strongest vertical shears within the cyclonic shear zone. Persistent equatorward flow at the base of the GS associated with the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC) produces a local maximum in vertical shear where stratification is weak and is postulated to be a site of strong turbulent mixing. Repeated transects at the same location demonstrate that the velocity structure depends upon whether the GS abuts the shelf slope or is offshore.
DOE Project Number: EE0008635
DOE Project Lead: Carrie Noonan
Submitted Dec 4, 2020
North Carolina State University