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Thermal Fronts Atlas of Canadian Coastal Waters
Cyr, F.; Larouche, P. (2015). Thermal Fronts Atlas of Canadian Coastal Waters. Atmosphere-Ocean 53(2): 212-236.
In: Atmosphere-ocean. Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.: Ottawa. ISSN 0705-5900; e-ISSN 1480-9214, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    thermal fronts; frontal probability; Newfoundland Shelf; Scotian Shelf; Gulf of St. Lawrence; Hudson Bay; Baffin Bay; Pacific Ocean

Authors  Top 
  • Cyr, F., more
  • Larouche, P.

    Oceanic fronts are often associated with enhanced biological activity. Depending on their generation mechanism, they are often linked to specific geographical areas. Here we use 25 years of high-resolution satellite sea surface temperature (SST) daily images to generate maps of SST fronts over Canadian coastal waters. Results show that fronts are ubiquitous features, but some fronts are more persistent than others. We confirmed the location of previously known major fronts, but some new persistent frontal areas were also detected as a result of the use of high-resolution (1.1 km) data and a methodology adapted to detect smaller-scale frontal features. Results also show that some of the frontal areas are associated with enhanced phytoplankton biomass or higher trophic level organisms (whales and birds) confirming the ecological importance of this physical process.

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