Shelf Circulation

South Florida Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (SoFLA-HYCOM)
Shelf Circulation

The South Florida shelf areas have unique characteristics, due to their complex topography and their proximity to a strong boundary current, namely the Gulf Stream, which enters as the Loop Current from the Southwest boundary, continues as the Florida Current in the Straits of Florida and exits as the main branch of the Gulf Stream through the Northeastern boundary. The broad Southwest Florida Shelf has distinct inner, middle and outer shelf areas, while such a distinction is not possible in the narrow Atlantic Florida Keys and the Southeast Florida Keys shelf areas.

Model simulations are used to study circulation forced by winds and buoyancy due to river inputs. Results are validated using data from (a) the NOAA-AOML and University of Miami-RSMAS observational activities over the last decade, as part of the South Florida Program, that include moored and shipboard observations, as well as drifter studies and (b) the Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMPS) of the University of South Florida (USF). Cable data of Florida Current transport at 27N from the NOAA-AOMLare also used for model validation.
Comparison to ADCP data 
(linked to "Model evaluation")
Comparison to Cable data
(linked to "Florida Current Transport")

The South Florida (SoFLA) model domain and bathymetry (contours in m). Red dots mark mooring sites and the red line marks the cable across the Straits of Florida used for Florida Current transport estimates.
TM: Tampa area; SWFS: Southwest Florida Shelf; DT: Dry Tortugas; FK: Florida Keys; FB: Florida Bay; AFKS: Atlantic Florida Keys Shelf; BB: Biscayne Bay; SEFS: Southeast Florida Shelf; CC: Cape Canaveral.

Villy Kourafalou —