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Research Document - 2009/039

Physical Oceanographic Conditions on the Scotian Shelf and in the Gulf of Maine during 2008

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


A review of the 2008 physical oceanographic conditions on the Scotian Shelf and in the eastern Gulf of Maine and adjacent offshore areas indicates that there was an overall balance between positive and negative anomalies in water mass properties. The climate index, a composite of 18 selected, normalized time series, had 12 variables within 0.5 standard deviations (SD) of their normal values and 3 each that were more than 0.5 SD above or below normal. The overall average of the 18 normalized anomalies was 0.06±0.97. However, there was systematic variability within the region: 7 of the 10 series from the eastern half (Halifax and eastward) were negative, with the 10 variables having an average value of -0.17 SD; whereas, 6 of the 8 from the western half were positive, with an average value of the 8 variables of +0.35 SD. Deep water temperatures in Emerald and Georges basins were 0.88 and 0.65 SD less than normal; Cabot Strait 200-300 m temperature was 0.45 SD below normal. This indicates colder than normal slope water conditions. These below normal temperatures were also reflected in the bottom temperatures in Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) areas 4W and 4X, which were 1.8 and 0.7 SD below normal.

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