Synoptic measurements of episodic offshore flow events in the central mid-Atlantic Bight

Brian Dzwonkowski, B. L. Lipphardt, Josh T. Kohut, Xiao Hai Yan, Richard W. Garvine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Sub-inertial across-shelf flows over the central mid-Atlantic Bight were examined using long-range CODAR SeaSonde type HF-radar surface velocities for the period August 2002 through February 2004. Across-shelf flow in this region was found to be episodic, with offshore flow occurring six times more often than onshore flow. Several recurring spatial patterns in offshore flow are identified, and two of these patterns emerge as statistically significant using empirical orthogonal functions. The most common type of offshore flow was a shelf-wide flow with events occurring throughout the year. The most energetic and well-defined shelf-wide flow events occurred during October through April, when the water column was less stratified. Other offshore flow patterns were more localized, with a flow at the bend or 'point' in the New Jersey coast being most common and most energetic. The offshore flow events identified here are capable of driving significant offshore transport, with more than one-third of offshore flow episodes having potential transport distances of greater than 14. km. In addition, clusters of multiple offshore flow events are shown to be capable of transporting near-surface material across much of the continental shelf.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1373-1386
Number of pages14
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Geology


  • Across-shelf flow
  • HF radar
  • Middle Atlantic Bight
  • Surface currents
  • Surface velocity

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