Evidence of episodic on-shelf flow in the southeastern Bering Sea


  • P. J. Stabeno,

  • P. Van Meurs


Trajectories from satellite-tracked drifters released over the continental slope (depth 250–500 m) in the southeastern Bering Sea revealed an episodic event of on-shelf flow. The first set of seven drifters followed the isobaths northwestward at speeds of 20–40 cm s−1; the second set, released 12 days later, moved 60 km onto the shelf at speeds of 10–15 cm s−1. Meanders or eddies were evident in the trajectories as the drifters were advected onto the shelf. An anticyclonic eddy formed at the shoreward termination of on-shelf flow (120 m isobath). The eddy dissipated in 8–10 days. Such events can be important mechanisms in replenishing nutrients and introducing oceanic plankton and larvae onto the shelf.