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Extreme surface and near-bottom currents in the northwest Atlantic


Oliver, ECJ and Sheng, J and Thompson, KR and Urrego Blanco, JR, Extreme surface and near-bottom currents in the northwest Atlantic, Natural Hazards, 64, (2) pp. 1425-1446. ISSN 0921-030X (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11069-012-0303-5


This study presents a methodology for estimating extreme current speeds from numerical model results using extremal analysis techniques. This method is used to estimate the extreme near-surface and near-bottom current speeds of the northwest Atlantic Ocean with 50-year return periods from 17 years of model output.The non-tidal currents produced by a threedimensional ocean circulation model for the 1988–2004 period were first used to estimate and map the 17-year return period extreme current speeds at the surface and near the bottom. Extremal analysis techniques (i.e., fitting the annualmaxima to the Type I probability distribution) are used to estimate and map the 50-year extreme current speeds. Tidal currents are dominant in some parts of the northwest Atlantic, and a Monte Carlo-based methodology is developed to take into account the fact that large non-tidal extrema may occur at different tidal phases. The inclusion of tidal currents in this way modifies the estimated 50-year extreme current speeds, and this is illustrated along several representative transects and depth profiles. Seasonal variations are examined by calculating the extreme current speeds for fall-winter and spring–summer. Finally, the distribution of extreme currents is interpreted taking into account (1) variability about the time-mean current speeds, (2) wind-driven Ekman currents, and (3) flow along isobaths.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:extreme current speeds, extremal analysis, northwest atlantic, ocean circulation model, monte carlo methods
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate variability (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Oliver, ECJ (Dr Eric Oliver)
ID Code:82914
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2013-02-22
Last Modified:2016-09-27

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