Deepwater currents examined in the eastern GOM ///

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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