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  • 1
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    Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 2015
    Description: Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW) constitutes the densest portion of North Atlantic Deep Water, which feeds the lower limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). As such, it is critical to understand how DSOW is transferred from the upstream basins in the Nordic Seas, across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge, and to the North Atlantic Ocean. The goal of this study is to characterize the hydrographic structure of the different DSOW constituents at the sill before the water descends into the Irminger Sea using temperature and salinity (T/S) data from 111 shipboard crossings in the vicinity of the sill, collected between 1990 and 2012. The individual realizations indicate that weakly stratified "boluses" of DSOW frequent the sill and contribute the densest water to the overflow. This study also characterizes the structure, size, and location of the boluses and relates them to the T/S modes found at the sill. Lastly, historical hydrographic data from the Nordic Seas are used to make inferences regarding the origin of the boluses.
    Description: Financial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation grant OCE-0959381.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Thesis
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 47 (2017): 2999-3013, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0129.1.
    Description: Initial results are presented from a yearlong, high-resolution (~2 km) numerical simulation covering the east Greenland shelf and the Iceland and Irminger Seas. The model hydrography and circulation in the vicinity of Denmark Strait show good agreement with available observational datasets. This study focuses on the variability of the Denmark Strait overflow (DSO) by detecting and characterizing boluses and pulses, which are the two dominant mesoscale features in the strait. The authors estimate that the yearly mean southward volume flux of the DSO is about 30% greater in the presence of boluses and pulses. On average, boluses (pulses) are 57.1 (27.5) h long, occur every 3.2 (5.5) days, and are more frequent during the summer (winter). Boluses (pulses) increase (decrease) the overflow cross-sectional area, and temperatures around the overflow interface are colder (warmer) by about 2.6°C (1.8°C). The lateral extent of the boluses is much greater than that of the pulses. In both cases the along-strait equatorward flow of dense water is enhanced but more so for pulses. The sea surface height (SSH) rises by 4–10 cm during boluses and by up to 5 cm during pulses. The SSH anomaly contours form a bowl (dome) during boluses (pulses), and the two features cross the strait with a slightly different orientation. The cross streamflow changes direction; boluses (pulses) are associated with veering (backing) of the horizontal current. The model indicates that boluses and pulses play a major role in controlling the variability of the DSO transport into the Irminger Sea.
    Description: This work was supported by the NSF Grants OCE-1433448, OCE-1633124, and OCE- 1259618 and the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES) seed grant funding.
    Description: 2018-06-13
    Keywords: North Atlantic Ocean ; Mesoscale processes ; Ocean models ; Regional models
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-08-30
    Description: Author Posting. © The Authors, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of Sears Foundation for Marine Research for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Marine Research 75 (2017): 605-639, doi:10.1357/002224017822109505.
    Description: Shipboard hydrographic and velocity sections are used to quantify aspects of the North Icelandic Jet (NIJ), which transports dense overflow water to Denmark Strait, and the North Icelandic Irminger Current (NIIC), which imports Atlantic water to the Iceland Sea. The mean transports of the two currents are comparable, in line with previous notions that there is a local overturning cell in the Iceland Sea that transforms the Atlantic water to dense overflow water. As the NIJ and NIIC flow along the north side of Iceland, they appear to share a common front when the bottom topography steers them close together, but even when they are separate there is a poleward flow inshore of the NIJ. The interannual variability in salinity of the inflowing NIIC is in phase with that of the outflowing NIJ. It is suggested, however, that the NIIC signal does not dictate that of the NIJ. Instead, the combination of liquid and solid freshwater flux from the east Greenland boundary can account for the observed net freshening of the NIIC to the NIJ for the densest half of the overturning circulation in the northwest Iceland Sea. This implies that the remaining overturning must occur in a different geographic area, consistent with earlier model results. The year-to-year variability in salinity of the NIJ can be explained by applying annual anomalies of evaporation minus precipitation over the Iceland Sea to a one-dimensional mixing model. These anomalies vary in phase with the wind stress curl over the North Atlantic subpolar gyre, which previous studies have shown drives the interannual variation in salinity of the inflowing NIIC.
    Description: Funding for the project was provided by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-1558742 (RSP, MAS, DJT, CN), OCE-1433170 (MAS), and OCE-0959381 (DM); the Norwegian Research Council under grant agreement no. 231647 (KV); the Bergen Research Foundation (KV); the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 2007-2013) under grant agreement 308299 (NACLIM project, KV, HV, and SJ); and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (GWKM).
    Keywords: Boundary currents ; Overturning circulation ; Overflow water
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-08-30
    Description: Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2014. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 92 (2014): 75-84, doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2014.06.002.
    Description: The recently discovered East Greenland Spill Jet is a bottom-intensified current on the upper continental slope south of Denmark Strait, transporting intermediate density water equatorward. Until now the Spill Jet has only been observed with limited summertime measurements from ships. Here we present the first year-round mooring observations demonstrating that the current is a ubiquitous feature with a volume transport similar to the well-known plume of Denmark Strait overflow water farther downslope. Using reverse particle tracking in a high-resolution numerical model, we investigate the upstream sources feeding the Spill Jet. Three main pathways are identified: particles flowing directly into the Spill Jet from the Denmark Strait sill; particles progressing southward on the East Greenland shelf that subsequently spill over the shelfbreak into the current; and ambient water from the Irminger Sea that gets entrained into the flow. The two Spill Jet pathways emanating from Denmark Strait are newly resolved, and long-term hydrographic data from the strait verifies that dense water is present far onto the Greenland shelf. Additional measurements near the southern tip of Greenland suggest that the Spill Jet ultimately merges with the deep portion of the shelfbreak current, originally thought to be a lateral circulation associated with the sub-polar gyre. Our study thus reveals a previously unrecognized significant component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation that needs to be considered to understand fully the ocean’s role in climate.
    Description: Support for this study was provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation (OCE-0726640, OCI-1088849, OCI-0904338), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (0F0651 D), and the Italian Ministry of University and Research through the RITMARE Flagship Project.
    Keywords: East Greenland Spill Jet ; Denmark Strait Overflow Water ; Atlantic meridional overturning circulation ; Shelf basin interaction
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Preprint
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-08-30
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122 (2017): 306–321, doi:10.1002/2016JC012007.
    Description: Using 111 shipboard hydrographic sections across Denmark Strait occupied between 1990 and 2012, we characterize the mean conditions at the sill, quantify the water mass constituents, and describe the dominant features of the Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW). The mean vertical sections of temperature, salinity, and density reveal the presence of circulation components found upstream of the sill, in particular the shelfbreak East Greenland Current (EGC) and the separated EGC. These correspond to hydrographic fronts consistent with surface-intensified southward flow. Deeper in the water column the isopycnals slope oppositely, indicative of bottom-intensified flow of DSOW. An end-member analysis indicates that the deepest part of Denmark Strait is dominated by Arctic-Origin Water with only small amounts of Atlantic-Origin Water. On the western side of the strait, the overflow water is a mixture of both constituents, with a contribution from Polar Surface Water. Weakly stratified “boluses” of dense water are present in 41% of the occupations, revealing that this is a common configuration of DSOW. The bolus water is primarily Arctic-Origin Water and constitutes the densest portion of the overflow. The boluses have become warmer and saltier over the 22 year record, which can be explained by changes in end-member properties and their relative contributions to bolus composition.
    Description: US National Science Foundation (RP and DM) Grant Number: OCE-0959381; ;Norwegian Research Council Grant Number: 231647 (KV)
    Description: 2017-07-20
    Keywords: Bolus ; Denmark Strait Overflow Water ; North Icelandic Jet ; Hydrography ; East Greenland Current ; North Icelandic Irminger Current
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-08-30
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 49(7), (2019): 1889-1904, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-19-0053.1.
    Description: A high-resolution numerical model, together with in situ and satellite observations, is used to explore the nature and dynamics of the dominant high-frequency (from one day to one week) variability in Denmark Strait. Mooring measurements in the center of the strait reveal that warm water “flooding events” occur, whereby the North Icelandic Irminger Current (NIIC) propagates offshore and advects subtropical-origin water northward through the deepest part of the sill. Two other types of mesoscale processes in Denmark Strait have been described previously in the literature, known as “boluses” and “pulses,” associated with a raising and lowering of the overflow water interface. Our measurements reveal that flooding events occur in conjunction with especially pronounced pulses. The model indicates that the NIIC hydrographic front is maintained by a balance between frontogenesis by the large-scale flow and frontolysis by baroclinic instability. Specifically, the temperature and salinity tendency equations demonstrate that the eddies act to relax the front, while the mean flow acts to sharpen it. Furthermore, the model reveals that the two dense water processes—boluses and pulses (and hence flooding events)—are dynamically related to each other and tied to the meandering of the hydrographic front in the strait. Our study thus provides a general framework for interpreting the short-time-scale variability of Denmark Strait Overflow Water entering the Irminger Sea.
    Description: MAS was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants OCE-1558742 and OCE-1534618. RSP, PL, and DM were supported by NSF under Grants OCE-1558742 and OCE-1259618. WJvA was supported by the Helmholtz Infrastructure Initiative FRAM. TWNH and MA were supported by NSF under Grants OCE-1633124 and OCE-118123.
    Description: 2020-07-01
    Keywords: Baroclinic flows ; Frontogenesis/frontolysis ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Ocean dynamics ; Topographic effects
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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