Observational study of the California Undercurrent in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific
Spencer, Logan W.
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[Author's Abstract] The California Undercurrent is a current that moves northward beneath the surface waters along the Western Coast of North America from the Eastern Tropical North Pacific. It is important to understand because it is the only current transporting warm, salty water to the Pacific Northwest region and beyond. Between 17 March 2012 and 27 March 2012 aboard a research vessel, 43 stations were occupied along the coast of Mexico between to determine the location of the undercurrent. Using the data from cruise, graphs were made depicting the water column and all its properties. The isopycnals (line of constant density) spread apart near the shelf break which was associated with the fastest current speed which was found to be between 100-300 meters and had an average density of 26.6 kg/m3. The average speed of the undercurrent was between 0.05 and 0.1 m/s. The findings show evidence that the California Undercurrent is located as far south as Manzanillo, Mexico and enters and exits the Gulf of California.