Winds influence Bering Shelf circulation



Circulation over the Bering Sea shelf and between the shelf and the adjacent deep basin affects the ecosystem through nutrient exchange, egg and larvae dispersal, and changes in temperature and salinity. Using numerical models and observations, Danielson et al. present a new simple framework showing how circulation on the Bering shelf varies with wind forcing. They f n d two primary modes of wind forcing, and changes in wind direction tend to reverse the flow around the shelf. Northwesterly winds, which are more common, promote off-shelf transport along the majority of the continental slope, while southeasterly winds, which are less frequent, are associated with greater on-shelf transport. The study improves overall understanding of the Bering shelf circulation. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2012GL051231, 2012)