Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Geophysical Research Letters






e2020GL091943 (1-10)


Abstract Climatic changes have decreased the stability of the Gulf Stream (GS), increasing the frequency at which its meanders interact with the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) continental shelf and slope region. These intrusions are thought to suppress biological productivity by transporting low-nutrient water to the otherwise productive shelf edge region. Here we present evidence of widespread, anomalously intense subsurface diatom hotspots in the MAB slope sea that likely resulted from a GS intrusion in July 2019. The hotspots (at ∼50 m) were associated with water mass properties characteristic of GS water (∼100 m); it is probable that the hotspots resulted from the upwelling of GS water during its transport into the slope sea, likely by a GS meander directly intruding onto the continental slope east of where the hotspots were observed. Further work is required to unravel how increasingly frequent direct GS intrusions could influence MAB marine ecosystems.


© 2021 American Geophysical Union.

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Data Availability

Article states: "All CTD, VPR, and bottle fields are archived at the SPIROPA project page at the Biological & Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO) with DOIs 10.26008/1912/bco-dmo.807119.2, 10.26008/1912/bco-dmo.848898.1, and 10.26008/1912/bco-dmo.849340.1. SPIROPA IFCB images are available at Amplicon sequence variants read counts are included in Data-set S1."

The online version of the article contains supplementary material available at

Records matching the referenced data DOIs can be found at the following links:,, and

Original Publication Citation

Oliver, H., Zhang, W. G., Smith Jr., W. O., ... Stanley, R. H. R., Zhu, Y., & McGillicuddy Jr., D. J. (2021). Diatom hotspots driven by western boundary current instability. Geophysical Research Letters, 48(11), 1-10, Article e2020GL091943.


0000-0001-5212-6228 (Chappell), 0000-0002-5721-3061 (Selden), 0000-0002-8035-7338 (Zhu)


Article Location