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Seasonal variability of the East Greenland Coastal Current

Seasonal variability of the East Greenland Coastal Current
Seasonal variability of the East Greenland Coastal Current
The East Greenland Coastal Current (EGCC) is characterised as cold, low salinity polar waters flowing equatorwards on the east Greenland shelf. It is an important conduit of freshwater from the Arctic Ocean, but our present understanding of it is poor, outside of an assortment of measurements which stem mainly from summertime visits by research vessels. This manuscript first describes measurements from moored instruments deployed on the East Greenland shelf (~63°N) between 2000–2004. The measurements are then used to show that a high-resolution coupled ice-ocean global general circulation model supports a realistic representation of the EGCC. The results show that the EGCC exists throughout the year, and is stronger in winter than in summer. The model EGCC seawater transports are a maximum (minimum) in February (August), at 3.8 (1.9) x 106 m3 s-1. Freshwater transports, including modelled estimates of sea ice transport and referenced to salinity 35.0, are a maximum (minimum) in February (August) at 106 (59) x 103 m3 s-1. The model results show that wind and buoyancy forcing are of similar importance to EGCC transport. An empirical decomposition of the buoyancy-forced transport into a buoyancy-only component and a coupled wind and buoyancy component indicates the two to be of similar magnitude in winter. The model annual mean freshwater flux of ~80-90 x 103 m3 s-1 approaches 50% of the net rate of Arctic freshwater gain, underlining the climatic importance of the EGCC.
East Greenland Coastal Current, Arctic Freshwater Export, Mooring data, NEMO Ocean Model, Buoyancy-driven current, Wind-driven current
2169-9275
3967-3987
Bacon, Sheldon
1e7aa6e3-4fb4-4230-8ba7-90837304a9a7
Marshall, Abigail
875de593-3094-4a68-a1c7-6970d4992266
Holliday, N.P.
358b0b33-f30b-44fd-a193-88365bbf2c79
Aksenov, Yevgeny
1d277047-06f6-4893-8bcf-c2817a9c848e
Dye, Stephen R.
6017b701-bc0b-4aeb-a8d8-2cc5f708dd04
Bacon, Sheldon
1e7aa6e3-4fb4-4230-8ba7-90837304a9a7
Marshall, Abigail
875de593-3094-4a68-a1c7-6970d4992266
Holliday, N.P.
358b0b33-f30b-44fd-a193-88365bbf2c79
Aksenov, Yevgeny
1d277047-06f6-4893-8bcf-c2817a9c848e
Dye, Stephen R.
6017b701-bc0b-4aeb-a8d8-2cc5f708dd04

Bacon, Sheldon, Marshall, Abigail, Holliday, N.P., Aksenov, Yevgeny and Dye, Stephen R. (2014) Seasonal variability of the East Greenland Coastal Current. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119 (6), 3967-3987. (doi:10.1002/2013JC009279).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The East Greenland Coastal Current (EGCC) is characterised as cold, low salinity polar waters flowing equatorwards on the east Greenland shelf. It is an important conduit of freshwater from the Arctic Ocean, but our present understanding of it is poor, outside of an assortment of measurements which stem mainly from summertime visits by research vessels. This manuscript first describes measurements from moored instruments deployed on the East Greenland shelf (~63°N) between 2000–2004. The measurements are then used to show that a high-resolution coupled ice-ocean global general circulation model supports a realistic representation of the EGCC. The results show that the EGCC exists throughout the year, and is stronger in winter than in summer. The model EGCC seawater transports are a maximum (minimum) in February (August), at 3.8 (1.9) x 106 m3 s-1. Freshwater transports, including modelled estimates of sea ice transport and referenced to salinity 35.0, are a maximum (minimum) in February (August) at 106 (59) x 103 m3 s-1. The model results show that wind and buoyancy forcing are of similar importance to EGCC transport. An empirical decomposition of the buoyancy-forced transport into a buoyancy-only component and a coupled wind and buoyancy component indicates the two to be of similar magnitude in winter. The model annual mean freshwater flux of ~80-90 x 103 m3 s-1 approaches 50% of the net rate of Arctic freshwater gain, underlining the climatic importance of the EGCC.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: June 2014
Published date: June 2014
Keywords: East Greenland Coastal Current, Arctic Freshwater Export, Mooring data, NEMO Ocean Model, Buoyancy-driven current, Wind-driven current
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 365708
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/365708
ISSN: 2169-9275
PURE UUID: 0fda22a8-9eca-4612-9710-8b4f13e35c11

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Date deposited: 12 Jun 2014 15:28
Last modified: 07 Nov 2019 17:32

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