, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 179-193

The upper ocean circulation at Great Meteor Seamount

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 Recent observations of hydrography and currents at the Great Meteor Seamount are combined with a numerical model to investigate the flow regime at this seamount. Periodic tidal forcing is the dominant process, leading to trapped waves, flow rectification, internal wave generation and a system of closed circulation cells. Steep slopes and a flat summit plain lead to a previously unreported mixed-layer thickness anomaly along the edge of the seamount. The seamount vicinity is characterized by high levels of variability in the tidal band, on spatial scales set by the topography – and the data from even relatively dense observational grids alone may lead to serious misinterpretations of the nature of the seamount-induced circulation and mass structure. The model will be used in Part II of this study to further investigate biologically relevant questions.

Received: 10 January 2002 / Accepted: 2 September 2002
Acknowledgements Helpful discussions with Adriene Pereira and the comments of three anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged. We also like to thank the captain, crew and scientific staff on board RV Meteor cruise 42/3. This work is a contribution to the Great Meteor Seamount project and was funded under DFG contracts Me 487/38-2 and Be 1851/1-1.
Present address: C. Mohn Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany e-mail: mohn@dkrz.de
Responsible Editor: Jean-Marie Beckers