Fresh water flow across the Wandel Sea shelf in Northeast Greenland comprised of the Arctic Ocean outflow through Fram Strait and the glacier-ocean interaction

Lead Author Igor, Dmitrenko
Institution Contact Centre for Earth Observation Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada 524 Wallace Building 125 Dysart Road, Manitoba Winnipeg, R3T 2N2 CANADA PH: +1 (204) 474-8832, CELL: +1 (204) 226-3687, FAX: +1 (204) 474-8129
Co-Authors Sergei A. Kirillov (University of Manitoba, Canada), Bert Rudels (Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland ), David G. Babb (University of Manitoba, Canada), Leif T. Pedersen (Danish Meteorological Institute, Denmark), Soeren Rysgaard (Greenland Climate Research Centre, Greenland), Yngve Kristoffersen (Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre, Norway), and David G. Barber (University of Manitoba, Canada)
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.2 Fresh Water in the Arctic Climate System: Consequences of Global Climate Change and Future Projections of the Arctic Environment
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 01:30 PM - 01:45 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text The first-ever conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) observations on the Wandel Sea shelf in North Eastern Greenland were collected in April-May 2015 as a part of the Arctic Science Partnership. The CTD profiles are used to reveal the origin of water masses and determine the extent to which these water masses have interacted with ambient water from the continental slope and the tidewater glacier outlet from the Flade Isblink Ice Cap. The subsurface water layer from ~20-70 m depth is comprised of freshened water (30-32 psu) that is likely associated with the Pacific Water outflow from the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait. The underlying cold halocline separates the Pacific Water layer from a deeper layer of modified Polar Water that has interacted with the warm Atlantic water outflow through Fram Strait. The Atlantic water with temperature above 0°C is recorded below 140 m. Over the outer shelf, the low halocline layer shows numerous cold density-compensated intrusions indicating lateral interaction with an ambient Polar Water mass across the continental slope. Below halocline, the colder and turbid water intrusions were observed at the front of the tidewater glacier outlet. On the temperature-salinity plots the CTD profiles from the glacier outlet comprise the mixing line that is different from the ambient water and seems to be conditioned by the ocean-glacier interaction. Our observations of Pacific Water in the subsurface layer are set in the context of upstream observations in the Beaufort Sea and downstream observations from the Northeast Water Polynya, and clearly show freshening of Pacific Water during its advection across the Arctic Ocean from the Bering Strait to Fram Strait. Moreover, ambient water over the Wandel Sea continental slope shows no halocline layer indicating the different origin and pathways of the on-shore and off-shore branches of the Arctic Ocean outflow through Fram Strait.
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