Intraseasonal Cross-Shelf Variability of Hypoxia along the Newport, Oregon, Hydrographic Line

TitleIntraseasonal Cross-Shelf Variability of Hypoxia along the Newport, Oregon, Hydrographic Line
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAdams, KA, Barth, JA, Shearman, RK
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Type of ArticleJournal Article
KeywordsCirculation/Dynamics, Coastal flows, Upwelling/downwelling

Observations of hypoxia, dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations < 1.4 ml L−1, off the central Oregon coast vary in duration and spatial extent throughout each upwelling season. Underwater glider measurements along the Newport hydrographic line (NH-Line) reveal cross-shelf DO gradients at a horizontal resolution nearly 30 times greater than previous ship-based station sampling. Two prevalent hypoxic locations are identified along the NH-Line, as is a midshelf region with less severe hypoxia north of Stonewall Bank. Intraseasonal cross-shelf variability is investigated with 10 sequential glider lines and a midshelf mooring time series during the 2011 upwelling season. The cross-sectional area of hypoxia observed in the glider lines ranges from 0 to 1.41 km2. The vertical extent of hypoxia in the water column agrees well with the bottom mixed layer height. Midshelf mooring water velocities show that cross-shelf advection cannot account for the increase in outer-shelf hypoxia observed in the glider sequence. This change is attributed to an along-shelf DO gradient of −0.72 ml L−1 over 2.58 km or 0.28 ml L−1 km−1. In early July of the 2011 upwelling season, near-bottom cross-shelf currents reverse direction as an onshore flow at 30-m depth is observed. This shoaling of the return flow depth throughout the season, as the equatorward coastal jet moves offshore, results in a more retentive near-bottom environment more vulnerable to hypoxia. Slope Burger numbers calculated across the season do not reconcile this return flow depth change, providing evidence that simplified two-dimensional upwelling model assumptions do not hold in this location.


Coastal Endurance