Relationships of St. Lawrence River Outflow with Sea Surface Temperature and Salinity in the Northwest Atlantic

  • J. A. Koslow
  • R. H. Loucks
  • K. R. Thompson
  • R. W. Trites
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 7)


We examine the influence of St. Lawrence River runoff on sea-surface temperature (SST) and salinity along the eastern seaboard of Canada and the United States. To avoid spurious statistical relationships, we take into account the direct influence of meteorological forcing, which is closely linked to St. Lawrence discharge.

The low-salinity pulse of the St. Lawrence spring freshet has been traced to the tip of southwest Nova Scotia, but not into the Gulf of Maine (e.g. at Boston). Multiple regression analysis indicates Boston salinity is significantly influenced by meteorological forcing and possibly local runoff but not St. Lawrence discharge.

Freshwater outflow is correlated with SST on the northwest Atlantic shelf, at 0–1 season lag, from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Georges Bank due to large-scale meteorological forcing and local runoff effects. The influence of St. Lawrence outflow on SST is not traced beyond the upper half of the Scotian shelf by our seasonal, lagged correlation analysis.


River Discharge Spring Discharge Eastern Seaboard Scotian Shelf Coastal Salinity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Koslow
    • 1
  • R. H. Loucks
    • 2
  • K. R. Thompson
    • 1
  • R. W. Trites
    • 3
  1. 1.Oceanography DepartmentDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Loucks OceanologyHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.Marine Ecology LaboratoryBedford Institute of OceanographyDartmouthCanada

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