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.
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