Submesoscale Recirculations Around an Island Cape

Arnoldo Valle-Levinson1, Leonardo Tenorio-Fernandez2, Braulio Juarez3, Margaret Daly4, Clifton Brock Woodson5 and Stephen G Monismith4, (1)University of Florida - UF, Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment, Gainesville, FL, United States, (2)CICIMAR Interdisciplinary Center For Marine Science of Mexico - CONACyT, Physical Oceanography, La Paz, BS, Mexico, (3)University of Florida, Civil and Coastal Engineering, Ft Walton Beach, FL, United States, (4)Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States, (5)University of Georgia, Athens, United States
In order to quantify flow structures and understand drivers of local oceanographic variability that connect habitats with different stressor regimes, we carried out measurements of intensive nearshore circulation patterns at Isla Natividad. The island is located off the western coast in the middle of the Baja California peninsula. Two 24-hour experiments resolved tidal variations of flow and acoustic backscatter around capes on both sides of the island during the upwelling season, July 2018. Transects on the eastern side of the island had practically no kelp coverage while those on the western side were executed through a dense kelp forest. Results on the eastern side of the island illustrate tidal and subtidal recirculations of order 100 m in diameter around one of the capes. These recirculations are likely crucial also to induce upwelling and to the retention of dissolved and suspended matter around capes. Results on the western side of the island are being analyzed. During data collection, it became evident that the flow over the kelp was richly heterogeneous. Further analysis will reveal the nature of such heterogeneity. Results will also be used to inform, calibrate and verify a three-dimensional circulation model of the region that will be used to examine connectivity among the different sites.