Cold pool

Cold Pool


Climatological view of the Mid-Atlantic cold pool.

The Cold Pool is a key oceanographic feature in the Mid-Atlantic Bight, consisting of a band of cold near-bottom water extending between Cape Hatteras and southern Georges Bank. A remnant of colder winter waters, the Cold Pool exists between spring and fall, separated from the surface by a seasonal thermocline and surrounded by warmer waters in the along-shelf and cross-shelf directions1.

After formation, the cold bottom water that makes up the Cold Pool is advected southwest, slowly warming over the course of the summer. Ultimately, cooling of surface waters in the fall and wind-mixing leads to the dissolution and destratification of the feature.The Cold Pool serves as the southernmost habitat of some more northerly distributed species, including yellowtail flounder. Longer lasting and cooler Cold Pools have been associated with higher recruitment success of yellowtail flounder2.

    1. 1. Lentz SJ (2017) Seasonal warming of the Middle Atlantic Bight Cold Pool. J Geophys Res Ocean 122:941–954.

    2. 2. Miller TJ, Hare JA, Alade LA (2016) A state-space approach to incorporating environmental effects on recruitment in an age-structured assessment model with an application to Southern New England yellowtail flounder. Can J Fish Aquat Sci  73(8): 1261-1270.

Indicator Data

Link to relevant indicator data


Analyses associated with the Mid-Atlantic cold pool include...


Go here for current publications associated with the Mid-Atlantic cold pool.

Northeast Components