Current Measurements in the Halmahera Sea

George R. Cresswell, John L. Luick

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    A mooring with current meters at 400, 700, and 900 m at the 950-m isobath south of the 700-m-deep sill across the Halmahera Sea revealed many signals between June 1993 and July 1994. Strong tidal currents of 50 cm/s dragged the mooring down by as much as 80 m on occasions when the lunar perigees corresponded with new or full moons. At 400 m the nontidal currents were southward at up to 25 cm/s from October to April and northwestward at up to 20 cm/s at other times. At 700-m depth there was a near-continuous nontidal southward flow of 9 cm/s across the sill into the Halmahera Basin, which accords with findings by earlier Dutch and Indonesian workers. The current meter at 900-m depth showed the nontidal flow to be weak (∼1 cm/s) to the west. The southward transport between 350 and 700 m was inferred to reach a maximum of 5 Sv during the NW monsoon, with the annual mean being 1.5 Sv. There was a spring-neap effect on the nontidal currents at 400 m that was most pronounced in the last few months of the mooring's life: these currents changed from ∼10 cm/s to the east during neap tides to ∼20 cm/s to the NNW during spring tides. Temperature and salinity profiles suggest that the waters of the Halmahera Sea are derived in part from the New Guinea Coastal Undercurrent.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13945-13951
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
    Issue numberC7
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2001


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