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Research Document - 2006/040

Physical Oceanographic Conditions on the Scotian Shelf and in the Gulf of Maine during 2005

By Petrie, B., R.G. Pettipas, W.M. Petrie, and V. Soukhovtsev


A review of physical oceanographic conditions on the Scotian Shelf and in the Gulf of Maine and adjacent offshore areas during 2005 has shown the temperature conditions were generally from 0 to 1°C below normal. This contrasts with 2004 when cooler conditions prevailed. St. Andrews sea surface temperature was 0.07°C below normal making 2005 the 49th coldest in 85 years. At Prince 5, 0-90 m, monthly mean temperatures were generally below normal by about 0.3 to 0.4°C. Salinities were 0.42 (0 m) and 0.17 (90 m) below normal. Halifax sea surface temperature was 1.0°C below normal, making 2005 the 8th coldest in 80 years. At Halifax Station 2, 0-140 m temperature anomalies were generally within 1°C of normal; salinity was slightly below normal values. Sydney Bight and Misaine Bank had typical temperature anomalies of 0.5 and 0°C; Emerald Basin, Lurcher Shoals, Georges Basin and eastern Georges Bank profiles featured typical anomalies of –0.5°C at most depths. Standard sections in April and October on the Scotian Shelf support the overall conclusion of near normal temperatures in the upper 100m. Cabot Strait deep-water (200-300 m) temperatures were near normal. The temperatures from the July groundfish survey increased substantially from the record cold values in 2004. The overall anomaly for the combined areas of 4Vn,s, 4W and 4X was -0.07°C. The overall stratification was slightly above normal for the Scotian Shelf region in 2005. The Shelf/Slope front and the Gulf Stream were about 6 and 8 km south of their mean positions.

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