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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a key component of the global climate system through its transport of heat and freshwater. The subpolar North Atlantic (SPNA) is a region where the AMOC is actively developed and shaped though mixing and water mass transformation and where large amounts of heat are released to the atmosphere. Two hydrographic transbasin sections in the summers of 2014 and 2016 provide highly spatially resolved views of the SPNA velocity and property fields on a line from Canada to Greenland to Scotland. Estimates of the AMOC, isopycnal (gyre-scale) transport, and heat and freshwater transport are derived from the observations. The overturning circulation, the maximum in northward transport integrated from the surface to seafloor and computed in density space, has a high range, with 20.6 ± 4.7 Sv in June-July 2014 and 10.6 ± 4.3 Sv in May-August 2016. In contrast, the isopycnal (gyre-scale) circulation was lowest in summer 2014: 41.3 ± 8.2 Sv compared to 58.6 ± 7.4 Sv in 2016. The heat transport (0.39 ± 0.08 PW in summer 2014, positive is northward) was highest for the section with the highest AMOC, and the freshwater transport was largest in summer 2016 when the isopycnal circulation was high (-0.25 ± 0.08 Sv). Up to 65% of the heat and freshwater transport was carried by the isopycnal circulation, with isopycnal property transport highest in the western Labrador Sea and the eastern basins (Iceland Basin to Scotland).
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2016-10-05
    Description: In summer 1996, a tracer release experiment using sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) was launched in the intermediate-depth waters of the central Greenland Sea (GS), to study the mixing and ventilation processes in the region and its role in the northern limb of the Atlantic overturning circulation. Here we describe the hydrographic context of the experiment, the methods adopted and the results from the monitoring of the horizontal tracer spread for the 1996–2002 period documented by ∼10 shipboard surveys. The tracer marked “Greenland Sea Arctic Intermediate Water” (GSAIW). This was redistributed in the gyre by variable winter convection penetrating only to mid-depths, reaching at most 1800 m depth during the strongest event observed in 2002. For the first 18 months, the tracer remained mainly in the Greenland Sea. Vigorous horizontal mixing within the Greenland Sea gyre and a tight circulation of the gyre interacting slowly with the other basins under strong topographic influences were identified. We use the tracer distributions to derive the horizontal shear at the scale of the Greenland Sea gyre, and rates of horizontal mixing at ∼10 and ∼300 km scales. Mixing rates at small scale are high, several times those observed at comparable depths at lower latitudes. Horizontal stirring at the sub-gyre scale is mediated by numerous and vigorous eddies. Evidence obtained during the tracer release suggests that these play an important role in mixing water masses to form the intermediate waters of the central Greenland Sea. By year two, the tracer had entered the surrounding current systems at intermediate depths and small concentrations were in proximity to the overflows into the North Atlantic. After 3 years, the tracer had spread over the Nordic Seas basins. Finally by year six, an intensive large survey provided an overall synoptic documentation of the spreading of the tagged GSAIW in the Nordic Seas. A circulation scheme of the tagged water originating from the centre of the GS is deduced from the horizontal spread of the tracer. We present this circulation and evaluate the transport budgets of the tracer between the GS and the surroundings basins. The overall residence time for the tagged GSAIW in the Greenland Sea was about 2.5 years. We infer an export of intermediate water of GSAIW from the GS of 1 to 1.85 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1) for the period from September 1998 to June 2002 based on the evolution of the amount of tracer leaving the GS gyre. There is strong exchange between the Greenland Sea and Arctic Ocean via Fram Strait, but the contribution of the Greenland Sea to the Denmark Strait and Iceland Scotland overflows is modest, probably not exceeding 6% during the period under study.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2012-11-19
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/conferenceObject
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-04-13
    Description: Highlights: • A joint analysis of deep current meter records in the western North Atlantic. • Intra-seasonal variability dominates the deep boundary current. • Topographic waves near 10d periods trapped over steep topography. • Basin centers are showing longer periods (50d) caused by the eddy field. • Observed variability characteristics compared to high resolution model simulation. Abstract The Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC) along the western margin of the subpolar North Atlantic is an important component of the deep limb of the Meridional Overturning near its northern origins. A network of moored arrays from Denmark Strait to the tail of the Grand Banks has been installed for almost two decades to observe the boundary currents and transports of North Atlantic Deep Water as part of an internationally coordinated observatory for the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The dominant variability in all of the moored velocity time series is in the week-to-month period range. While the temporal characteristics of this variability change only gradually between Denmark Strait and Flemish Cap, a broad band of longer term variability is present farther along the path of the DWBC at the Grand Banks and in the interior basins (Labrador and Irminger Seas). The vigorous intra-seasonal variability may well mask possible interannual to decadal variability that is typically an order of magnitude smaller than the high-frequency fluctuations. Here, the intra-seasonal variability is quantified at key positions along the DWBC path using both, observations and high resolution model data. The results are used to evaluate the model circulation, and in turn the model is used to relate the discrete measurements to the overall pattern of the subpolar circulation. Topographic waves are found to be trapped by the steep topography all around the western basins, the Labrador and Irminger Seas. In the Labrador Sea, the high intra-seasonal variability of the boundary current regime is separated by a region of extremely low variability in narrow recirculation cells from the basin interior. There, the variability is also on intra-seasonal timescales, but at much longer periods around 50 days.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2007-10-08
    Description: The Eirik Drift lies on the slope and rise off the southern tip of the Greenland margin where it formed under the influence of the North Atlantic deep western boundary current. The drift contains a semi-continuous and often expanded sedimentary record ranging from Early Eocene to Holocene and so contains a record of bottom current strengths over decadal to millennial time scales. These variations in current strength can be related to changes in thermohaline circulation and climate. The drift body is composed of four seismic sequences, with a number of internal discontinuities, reflecting a variety of palaeoceanographic events. Three secondary ridges are observed trending to the NW from the main ridge crest. The presence of these ridges, which have been active since the Early Pliocene, suggests that the deep current separates into three strands as it crosses the Eirik Drift, with each strand depositing a separate ridge. Variation in the degree of lateral migration within the Early to Late Pliocene sequence between ridges reflects local variation in the angle of slope on which the ridges formed. Cyclicity of reflector amplitude within the Late Pliocene to Pleistocene sequence could reflect changes in carbonate accumulation and deep current strength linked to glacial-interglacial variations.
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2015-04-15
    Description: Microstructure and hydrographic observations, during September 2007 in the boundary current on the East Siberian continental slope, document upper ocean stratification and along-stream water mass changes. A thin warm surface layer overrides a shallow halocline characterized by a ∼40-m thick temperature minimum layer beginning at ∼30 m depth. Below the halocline, well-defined thermohaline diffusive staircases extended downwards to warm Atlantic Water intrusions found at 200–800 m depth. Observed turbulent eddy kinetic energy dissipations are extremely low (ε 〈 10−6 W m−3), such that double diffusive convection dominates the vertical mixing in the upper-ocean. The diffusive convection heat fluxes FHdc ∼1 W m−2, are an order of magnitude too small to account for the observed along-stream cooling of the boundary current. Our results implicate circulation patterns and the influence of shelf waters in the evolution of the boundary current waters.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-02-05
    Description: Recent work has shown that glaciers are a globally significant source of the micronutrient Fe to the ocean. Polar regions are particularly susceptible to climate change and have been subject to pronounced warming in the past few decades. In response to this warming, the volume of glacial meltwater runoff from Greenland has increased. This meltwater has a relatively high particulate and dissolved Fe content. Seasonal Fe limitation of marine ecosystems has been found in parts of the North Atlantic, so it has been proposed that increasing fluxes of Fe rich meltwater from Greenland to the North Atlantic could alleviate this Fe limitation and thereby increase marine primary production. However, here we use a synthesis of biogeochemical and physical oceanography studies to suggest that the physical circulation around Greenland does not favour direct export of dissolved or particulate Fe from inshore to offshore waters. The Fe budget in surface waters of the North Atlantic may therefore be insensitive to increasing meltwater fluxes from Greenland.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-01-26
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2015-04-20
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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