Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 10 Issue 02

View Issue TOC
Volume 10, No. 2
Pages 53 - 56


The Coastal Jet: Observations of Surface Currents Over the Oregon Continental Shelf From HF Radar

P. Michael Kosro John A. BarthP. Ted Strub
Table of Contents
Citation Copyright & Usage
First Paragraph

The ocean circulation over the Oregon shelf during spring and summer is dominated by the effects of coastal upwelling. Equatorward winds drive an offshore Ekman transport in the surface layer, which produces divergent flow at the coast and the upwelling of deeper, colder, nutrient-enhanced waters (Huyer, 1990). At the surface, the boundary between the upwelled and oceanic waters is often a front, and the upwelling-induced horizontal density gradients support an equatorward coastal jet (Mooers et al., 1976). The annual onset of persistent upwelling conditions often occurs abruptly in an event called the spring transition (Huyer, et al., 1979; Strub, et al., 1987), which is characterized by a persistent drop in coastal sea level and a tendency to persistence of equatorward wind forcing (punctuated by occasional wind reversals). Although fluctuations in the alongshore current have been shown to be coherent over large alongshore scales (Huyer et al., 1975), the local spatial variations in the currents are not well known, mainly due to our past inability to map the current field at high resolution in both space and time.


Kosro, P.M., J.A. Barth, and P.T. Strub. 1997. The coastal jet: Observations of surface currents over the Oregon continental shelf from HF radar. Oceanography 10(2):53–56, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1997.22.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.