Le piège de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

Large diurnal bottom temperature oscillations around the Saint Pierre and Miquelon archipelago

Here, we report large, near-daily oscillations of near-bottom temperatures, with ranges of up to 11.5 °C at depths of 30–60 m in September 2011 around the Saint Pierre and Miquelon archipelago (south-eastern Canada). These oscillations were detected on velocity and temperature profiles from moorings in Miquelon Bay and on an array of near-bottom temperature sensors around the archipelago. The oscillations coincided with the seasonal stratification period. In addition to their remarkable range, they exhibited a near-diurnal period centred on the O1 tidal component (~26 h), contrasting with the dominant semi-diurnal sea-level periodicity in the area. They appear to be the manifestation of an internal wave, triggered by the diurnal surface tide and trapped by the bathymetric configuration of the area. We argue that the archipelago is nearly resonant for island-trapped waves at near-diurnal frequencies. Our data demonstrate that these coastal-trapped waves propagate clockwise around the archipelago in roughly two days, and thus approximate an azimuthal, mode 2 pattern. Simplified calculations show that cross-shore motions are bottom-amplified. In addition, bottom friction acts to rotate the axes of the diurnal tidal current ellipses with depth, and this combination of effects explains the large range of observed bottom temperature oscillations.

Lazure, P., Le Cann, B., Bezaud, M., 2018. Large diurnal bottom temperature oscillations around the Saint Pierre and Miquelon archipelago. Scientific Reports 8, 13882. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31857-w