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Research Document - 2001/018b

Physical Oceanographic conditions on the Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves during 2000

By Colbourne, E.

Abstract

Oceanographic observations from Nain Bank on the Labrador Shelf to the Southern Grand Bank on the Newfoundland Shelf during 2000 are presented referenced to their long-term (1961-1990) means. The annual water column integrated temperature at Station 27 for 2000 cooled slightly compared to 1999 but remained above the long-term mean. Surface temperatures were above normal for 9 out of 12 months with anomalies reaching a maximum of near 1.5°C during August. The June, July and December values were about normal. Bottom temperatures at Station 27 were above normal (by >0.5°C) during the first 6 months of the year and about normal during the remainder. Salinities at Station 27 were below normal during the winter months and near normal during the rest of the year. The vertically integrated salinity for the summer months was about normal. Similar trends in temperatures and salinity were observed on the Flemish Cap and on Hamilton Bank during 2000. Temperatures at 10-m depth in Norte Dame Bay, Bonavista Bay and Placentia Bay along the east coast of Newfoundland during 2000 were above normal by up to 3°C during the summer months. The cross-sectional area of sub-zero °C (CIL) water on the Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves increased over 1999 values, ranging from below normal on the Grand Bank, near normal off the east coast of Newfoundland and slightly above normal on the southern Labrador Shelf. Bottom temperatures on the Grand Bank during the spring of 2000 ranged from 0.5°C above normal in NAFO Div. 3L and up to 2°C above normal in Div. 3O. During the fall on the Grand Bank they decreased to mostly below normal values in central areas, but remained above normal in northern 3L and along the edge of the bank. Fall bottom temperatures in Divs. 2J and 3K were above normal in most areas, however, the mean bottom temperature in all regions decreased from 1999 values. Correspondingly, the area of the bottom in all areas covered by water in the lower end of the temperature range (-1.7-1°C) increased slightly over 1999 values while the area of warm water (1-4°C) decreased. In summary during 2000, ocean temperatures were cooler than 1999 values but remained above normal over most areas continuing the warm trend established in 1996. Salinities on the Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves were similar to 1999 values, generally fresher than normal.

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