Measurements in San Bernardino Strait, one of two major connections between the Pacific Ocean and the interior waters of the Philippine Archipelago, captured 2-3 m s-1 tidal currents that drove vertical mixing and net landward transport. A TRIAXUS towed profiling vehicle equipped with physical and optical sensors was used to repeatedly map subregions within the strait, employing survey patterns designed to resolve tidal variability of physical and optical properties. Strong flow over the sill between Luzon and Capul islands resulted in upward transport and mixing of deeper high-salinity, low-oxygen, high-particle-and-nutrient-concentration water into the upper water column, landward of the sill. During the high-velocity ebb flow, topography influences the vertical distribution of water, but without thediapycnal mixing observed during flood tide. The surveys captured a net landward flux of water through the narrowest part of the strait. The tidally varying velocities contribute to strong vertical transport and diapycnal mixing of the deeper water into the upper layer, contributing to the observed higher phytoplankton biomass within the interior of the strait.
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