Institut für Seefischerei, Palmaille 9, D-22767 Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany
Publication (Upload) date: 1 February 2007
STEIN, M. 2007. Oceanography of the Flemish Cap and Adjacent Waters. J. Northw. Atl. Fish. Sci., 37: 135–146. doi:10.2960/J.v37.m652
This paper gives an overview on environmental conditions of the Flemish Cap, and the interactions with adjacent waters, based on an analysis of publicly available oceanographic information from World Data Centre A, WOCE Data, the Reid-Mantyla data set consisting of about 10 000 oceanographic profiles distributed world wide, and satellite data from Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR). The region is influenced to a great extent by water masses of polar origin which provide a highly oxygenated environment rich in nutrients, e.g. phosphate and nitrate. This might be one major reason for favourable environmental conditions for marine vertebrates and invertebrates. The cold water signals, representing branches of the Labrador Current over the Flemish Path, and the side-branch circulating clock-wise around Flemish Cap Bank, are found at a mean depth of 100 m throughout all seasons, and their stable spatial position during the year might point at topographic steering. The frontal zone between the 4°C waters around the Flemish Cap, and the warmer North Atlantic Current waters, is very stable during all seasons. It is located at about 100 km to the east of the Cap.
Satellite derived surface flux data indicate on a daily basis that the area of the Flemish Cap is in the neighbourhood of cyclonic and anti-cyclonic eddies originating from the North Atlantic Current. These data show that the oceanographic features of the Cap region are hardly influenced by these eddies.
Key words: Flemish Cap, oceanography, salinity, temperature, vertical profiles