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  • Deepwater currents examined in the eastern GOM


    M. Inoue, S. Welsh and L. Rouse

    The first observations of deepwater currents in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) have been completed using a deepwater mooring deployed at 25.5°N and 87°W at a water depth of 3,356 m in a flat-bottom area away from the slope water region. This location is ideal to monitor the Loop Current (LC) and deepwater currents in the eastern Gulf. The GOM is a semi-enclosed basin with maximum depths of about 3,400 m in the eastern basin and 3,700 m in the western basin, Fig. 1. The eastern basin is connected to the western basin by a topographic constriction near 88°W. This appears to limit exchange of deep water between the basins. Upper-layer circulation in the eastern GOM is dominated by the LC and anticyclonic eddies or LC rings. The rings migrate westward and dominate circulation in the central and western GOM.

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