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MESA Archives: Eastern Bering Sea Physical Oceanography

(PLEASE NOTE: These web pages are for archival purposes only and are no longer maintained. For current information on this topic at the AFSC visit the Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment program. )

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CTD (SBE 25)
CTD (SBE 25)

Temperature and salinity characteristics determine stratification and mixing and can directly impact forage fish growth and survival. Mean temperature and salinity above and below the pycnocline were derived from CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth) data collected in the eastern Bering Sea during BASIS surveys in late summer /early fall 2000-2006. During late summer, Bristol Bay surface temperatures were warmer in 2002-2005 than in 2000, 2001 and 2006.

Lisa Eisner
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt Lena Loop Rd
Juneau AK 99801
(907) 789-6602

CTD Carousel (SBE 9 or 25) CTD Carousel (SBE 9 or 25) CTD Carousel (SBE 9 or 25)
CTD Carousel (SBE 9 or 25)


Temperature Above the Thermocline 2002 Temperature Above the Thermocline 2003 Temperature Above the Thermocline 2004 Temperature Above the Thermocline 2005 Temperature Above the Thermocline 2006
Temperature Above the Thermocline (°C)
Salinity Above the Thermocline 2002 Salinity Above the Thermocline 2003 Salinity Above the Thermocline 2004 Salinity Above the Thermocline 2005 Salinity Above the Thermocline 2006
Salinity Above the Thermocline (0/00)


During late summer, Bristol bay sea surface temperatures were warmer in 2002-2005 than in 2000-2001, and 2006. Lower salinities were observed near the coast in the Inner Domain (the well mixed waters along the coast) due to major input from the Yukon and Kuskoquim Rivers during all years; however, the lower salinity water mass extended further offshore in 2006.

Temperature Below the Thermocline 2002 Temperature Below the Thermocline 2003 Temperature Below the Thermocline 2004 Temperature Below the Thermocline 2005 Temperature Below the Thermocline 2006
Temperature Below the Thermocline (°C)


The location of the cold pool (T < 2C), deep cold water formed during ice melt, can have a large impact on fisheries distributions (e.g. pollock) and predator prey interactions. The cold pool was observed further south in 2006 (cold year) than during 2002-2005 (warm years). The southern extent of the cold pool from mid September to early October was 57.5N for 2006 and 60 - 63N for 2002-2005.

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