The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Wind-driven transport of fresh shelf water into the upper 30m of the Labrador Sea

Wind-driven transport of fresh shelf water into the upper 30m of the Labrador Sea
Wind-driven transport of fresh shelf water into the upper 30m of the Labrador Sea

The Labrador Sea is one of a small number of deep convection sites in the North Atlantic that contribute to the meridional overturning circulation. Buoyancy is lost from surface waters during winter, allowing the formation of dense deep water. During the last few decades, mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet has accelerated, releasing freshwater into the high-latitude North Atlantic. This and the enhanced Arctic freshwater export in recent years have the potential to add buoyancy to surface waters, slowing or suppressing convection in the Labrador Sea. However, the impact of freshwater on convection is dependent on whether or not it can escape the shallow, topographically trapped boundary currents encircling the Labrador Sea. Previous studies have estimated the transport of freshwater into the central Labrador Sea by focusing on the role of eddies. Here, we use a Lagrangian approach by tracking particles in a global, eddy-permitting (1/12°) ocean model to examine where and when freshwater in the surface 30m enters the Labrador Sea basin. We find that 60% of the total freshwater in the top 100m enters the basin in the top 30m along the eastern side. The year-to-year variability in freshwater transport from the shelves to the central Labrador Sea, as found by the model trajectories in the top 30m, is dominated by wind-driven Ekman transport rather than eddies transporting freshwater into the basin along the northeast.

1812-0784
1247-1264
Schulze Chretien, Lena M.
9429a24f-ed02-4227-b86e-7d4eb2ef35c5
Frajka-Williams, Eleanor
da86044e-0f68-4cc9-8f60-7fdbc4dc19cb
Schulze Chretien, Lena M.
9429a24f-ed02-4227-b86e-7d4eb2ef35c5
Frajka-Williams, Eleanor
da86044e-0f68-4cc9-8f60-7fdbc4dc19cb

Schulze Chretien, Lena M. and Frajka-Williams, Eleanor (2018) Wind-driven transport of fresh shelf water into the upper 30m of the Labrador Sea. Ocean Science, 14 (5), 1247-1264. (doi:10.5194/os-14-1247-2018).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Labrador Sea is one of a small number of deep convection sites in the North Atlantic that contribute to the meridional overturning circulation. Buoyancy is lost from surface waters during winter, allowing the formation of dense deep water. During the last few decades, mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet has accelerated, releasing freshwater into the high-latitude North Atlantic. This and the enhanced Arctic freshwater export in recent years have the potential to add buoyancy to surface waters, slowing or suppressing convection in the Labrador Sea. However, the impact of freshwater on convection is dependent on whether or not it can escape the shallow, topographically trapped boundary currents encircling the Labrador Sea. Previous studies have estimated the transport of freshwater into the central Labrador Sea by focusing on the role of eddies. Here, we use a Lagrangian approach by tracking particles in a global, eddy-permitting (1/12°) ocean model to examine where and when freshwater in the surface 30m enters the Labrador Sea basin. We find that 60% of the total freshwater in the top 100m enters the basin in the top 30m along the eastern side. The year-to-year variability in freshwater transport from the shelves to the central Labrador Sea, as found by the model trajectories in the top 30m, is dominated by wind-driven Ekman transport rather than eddies transporting freshwater into the basin along the northeast.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 7 September 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 October 2018
Published date: 15 October 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 425652
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/425652
ISSN: 1812-0784
PURE UUID: 9532c54d-189e-49c4-9cba-9f9054de6f0e
ORCID for Eleanor Frajka-Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8773-7838

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 31 Oct 2018 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:57

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×