Revisiting the Circulation of Hudson Bay: Evidence for a Seasonal Pattern

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • The Hudson Bay Complex is the outlet for many Canadian rivers, receiving roughly 900 km3/year of river runoff. Historically, studies found a consistent cyclonic flow year-round in Hudson Bay, due to the geostrophic boundary current induced by river discharge and cyclonic wind forcing that was supported by available observations at that time. Using a high-resolution ocean general circulation model, we show that in summer, the mean circulation is not cyclonic but consists of multiple small cyclonic and anticyclonic features, with the mean flow directed through the center of the bay. Absolute Dynamic Topography and velocity observations also show this seasonal flow pattern. We find that this summer circulation is driven by geostrophic currents, generated by steric height gradients, which are induced by increased river discharge during the spring freshet, and reinforced by anticyclonic seasonal wind patterns.

  • Date created
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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    © 2019. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Ridenour NA*, Hu X, Sydor K, Myers PG, Barber DG. (2019). Revisiting the Circulation of Hudson Bay: Evidence for a Seasonal Pattern. Geophysical Research Letters. 46: 3891-3899.