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Retention and dispersal of shelf waters influenced by interactions of ocean boundary current and coastal geography

Feng, M., Slawinski, D., Beckley, L.E. and Keesing, J.K. (2010) Retention and dispersal of shelf waters influenced by interactions of ocean boundary current and coastal geography. Marine and Freshwater Research, 61 (11). pp. 1259-1267.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF09275
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Abstract

Retention and dispersal of shelf waters under the influence of ocean boundary currents is crucial to recruitment processes of many coastal species. In this study, a Lagrangian particle tracking method based on an eddy-resolving, data-assimilating, hydrodynamic model is used to study spatial variations of local retention rates and alongshore dispersal of surface waters on the continental shelf off the west coast of Australia. The circulation on the shelf off the west coast of Australia is dominated by the southward-flowing eastern boundary current, the Leeuwin Current, which is interrupted by episodic wind-driven, northward, inshore surface transport during the austral summer, and by mesoscale eddy formations during the austral winter. Low-retention shelf regions tend to experience high alongshore currents, owing to the near-shore influence of the Leeuwin Current, protruding coastal geography, or formation of mesoscale eddies, whereas high-retention regions are sheltered from the direct influence of the Leeuwin Current by coastal geographic features. Alongshore dispersal also exhibits spatial as well as seasonal heterogeneity, with predominantly southward dispersal during the austral winter, and more symmetrical dispersal during the austral summer. Shelf retention and seasonal dispersal are linked with recruitment processes of invertebrate and fish species off the west coast of Australia.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: (c) CSIRO
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3478
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