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Abyssal Pathways and the Double Silica Maximum in the Northeast Pacific Basin
  • Susan L. Hautala,
  • Douglas E. Hammond
Susan L. Hautala
School of Oceanography, School of Oceanography

Corresponding Author:hautala@uw.edu

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Douglas E. Hammond
University of Southern California, University of Southern California
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This study examines causes of the double silica maximum in the deep interior Northeast Pacific Basin using a stochastic Lagrangian tracer model based on steady-state advective fields and diapycnal diffusion established by a hydrographic inverse method that conserves potential vorticity and salinity. Lateral diffusion, unresolved by the inverse model, is adjusted for overall agreement with radiocarbon distribution. The double silica maximum in vertical profiles arises from an eastern-intensified single-maximum in the North Pacific Deep Water along the northern domain boundary (originating in the western Pacific), and a strong subarctic bottom source supplying silica to Upper Circumpolar Deep Water density surfaces that successively intersect the seafloor over a broad area east of 150°W, associated geostrophically with southward flow. The existence of the double silica maximum requires weak diapycnal transport in the deep interior, with broader implications for the conceptual picture of meridional overturning circulation in the North Pacific.
16 Oct 2020Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 47 issue 19. 10.1029/2020GL089010