Wilkinson Basin

Overview
Wilkinson Basin is one of three large basins in the Gulf of Maine.

Surface area
2,733 mi2

Depth
~270 m

Bathymetry including key features
Thick deposits of mud obscure the bathymetry of the underlying bedrock features in Wilkinson Basin.1 The surface of the bottom is featureless except for small mounds.2

Substrate
Wilkinson Basin is covered in thick deposits of mud.3,4 The sediment-water interface within Wilkinson Basin is characterized by a layer of turbid water that is tens of meters deep. The turbidity of due to the suspension of fine particles.5

Relationship to large-scale circulatory patterns of the Gulf of Maine
The counter clockwise gyre that circulates over Wilkinson Basin is fed in part by waters from the inner shelf of the eastern Gulf of Maine. While much of the eastern coastal current is deflected offshore near the mouth of Penobscot Bay, the waters of the inner shelf flow through into the western Gulf. Deflected offshore by the western coastal current, they contribute to the counter clockwise flow of currents in Wilkinson Basin.

Information on average (seasonal/annual) oceanographic conditions
The oceanography of Wilkinson Basin is characterized by a counter clockwise gyre. These currents are strongest in the spring and summer. It is estimated that the deep waters of the Gulf of Maine, such as in Wilkinson Basin, are replaced every 10-12 months.6

1 New England Fisheries Management Council, 2004
2 Valentine, 2002
3 New England Fisheries Management Council, 2004
4 Dorsey and Pederson, 1998
5 Pilskaln, et al., 1998
6 Xue, et al., 2000