Moored sensors were maintained for ∼5 years on the northern California Current System (CCS) midshelf. The alongcoast sensor array spanned the area of influence of the plume from the Columbia River, several submarine canyons, as well as a coastal promontory where the equatorward coastal jet frequently separates from the shelf. Upwelling-favorable wind stress magnitude decreases poleward by more than a factor of three over the latitudinal range and shelf width varies by a factor of two. In spite of the alongcoast structure in setting, both seasonal and interannual patterns in subsurface layer water properties were remarkably similar at all sites. Higher in the water column, freshwater forcing was substantial. Because of the near surface freshwater input, seasonal sea surface and subsurface temperatures were almost perfectly out of phase in the northernmost CCS, with a mid water column inversion in winter. Year to year differences in subsurface layer wintertime water properties were similar to spatial and temporal patterns of wind stress variability: little alongcoast structure except in salinity, but pronounced interannual differences strongly related to local wind stress. Summertime wind and subsurface property patterns were the opposite of those in winter: pronounced alongcoast wind stress structure, but little or no alongcoast or interannual variability in water properties, and only a weak relationship to local wind stress. Summertime interannual water property variability, including source waters, was shown to be more consistent with “remote forcing” via larger scale wind stress rather than with local wind stress, particularly in the northernmost CCS.
B. Hickey, S. Geier, N. Kachel, S. Ramp, P. Kosro, and Thomas Connolly. "Alongcoast Structure and Interannual Variability of Seasonal Midshelf Water Properties and Velocity in the Northern California Current System" Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans (2016): 7408-7430. doi:10.1002/2015JC011424