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    Neither the enormously high concentrations of silica acid, higher than in any other ocean basin, nor the source, rate of supply and flushing of the deep and bottom waters of the Bering Sea basins have been adequately explained. In this paper these questions are examined using the few available data and a model describing the silicate distribution is proposed.

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    Bering Sea Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (BS FOCI) was a coastal fisheries ecosystems project of NOAA's Coastal Ocean Program (Boyles and Scavia 1993, Wenzel and Scavia 1993) from 1991 through 1997. BS FOCI was established to seek understanding of the factors that control abundance of fish populations, with a specific goal of reducing uncertainty in resource management decisions through ecological research on walleye Pollock and stock structure in the Bering Sea. Using a competitive process, BS FOCI awarded research components to academic scientists from several universities and to scientists from NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center and Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. BS FOCI developed collaborations with Russian, Korean and Japanese scientists. The National research Council (1994) reviewed accomplishments and plans of BS FOCI.

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    A classical view of April-August stratification on the Bering Sea shelf is an isothermal inner domain, a two-layer middle domain and a three-layer outer domain: domain boundaries are roughly 50 and 100 m. Based on a data set from 1974 to 1997, we show considerable spatial, intra-seasonal and interannual variability in this picture. The primary physical balance is between solar heating and turbulent mixing by tidal currents and wind.

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    It reviews and presents new data on the physical oceanography of the Bering Sea. It focuses on the basin, since a thorough review of the shelves has recently been completed (Schumacher and Stabeno 1998). Further, since this volume contains an extensive review of the water property characteristics (Luchin et al., chapter 3, this volume), the primary goal is to review and update circulation over the basin. We begin with the known and estimated transports through each of the passes of the Aleutian Islands, followed by a discussion of the surface and deep currents of the Bering Sea basin and the flow on the Bering Sea shelves.

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    The Inner Shelf Transfer And Recycling (ISHTAR) project was a multiyear, interdisciplinary project that sought to understand the processes that support the apparent high production of life in the waters between about 62 ' and 69 ' N in the Bering and Chukchi seas. All shallower than 100 m and mostly less than 50 m, this region constitutes a portion of the Inner Shelf Domain, shelf zone expected to sustain a low overall annual production characterized by but a single spring pulse of primary production. Model predictions and the contrasting abundance of upper trophic level biota presented a channeling enigma.