The Gulf of Maine is a semi-enclosed sea in northeastern North America boarded by Nova Scotia in the northeast and Cape Code in the southwest. The variability of circulation in the Gulf of Maine drives many important ecological processes in the area.

VIIRS image of the Gulf of Maine on May 14, 2015
VIIRS image of the Gulf of Maine on May 14, 2015 . Image courtesy of NASA.

Modeling of ocean circulation is an important tool for understanding and predicting the circulation dynamics in this region. A recent study by Li et al. tested the effectiveness of assimilating temperature and salinity data into a Gulf of Maine model. Data assimilated into the model included the NOAA CoastWatch blended sea surface temperature product and in situ temperature and salinity profiles. By assimilating the data, the researchers were able to successfully hindcast a water mass anomaly that occurred in the Gulf of Maine in 2010.

Monthly averaged modeled surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine for forward and posterior solutions of the data assimilative model.
Monthly averaged modeled surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine for forward and posterior solutions of the data assimilative model. Source: Li et al., 2015.

References and Related Reading

    •   Beardsley, R. C., B. Butman, W. R. Geyer, and P. Smith (1997), Physical oceanography of the Gulf of Maine: An update, in Proceedings of the Gulf of Maine Ecosystem Dynamics Scientific Symposium and Workshop, pp. 39-52, Reg. Assoc. for Res. in the Gulf of Maine, Hanover, N. H.
    •   Bigelow, H. B. (1927), Physical oceanography of the Gulf of Maine, Fish. Bull., 40, 511-1027.
    •   Brooks, D. A. (1994), A model study of the buoyancy-driven circulation in the Gulf of Maine, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 24(11), 2387-2412.
    •   Broquet, G., A. M. Moore, H. G. Arango, C. A. Edwards, and B. S. Powell (2009b), Ocean state and surface forcing correction using the ROMSIS4DVAR data assimilation system, Mercator Ocean Q. Newsl., 34, 5-13.
    •   Chen, K., R. He, B. Powell, G. Gawarkiewicz, A. M. Moore, and H. G. Arango (2014), Data assimilative modeling investigation on Gulf Stream Warm Core Ring interaction with continental shelf and slope circulation, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119, 5968-5991, doi:10.1002/2014JC009898.
    •   Li, Y., H. Ruoying, K. Chen, D.J. McGillicuddy Jr. 2015. Variational data assimilative modeling of the Gulf of Maine in spring and summer 2010. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 120: 3522-3541.