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Title: Structure and dynamics of mesoscale eddies over the Laptev Sea continental slope in the Arctic Ocean
Abstract. Heat fluxes steered by mesoscale eddies may be a significant, but still notquantified, source of heat to the surface mixed layer and sea ice cover inthe Arctic Ocean, as well as a source of nutrients for enhancing seasonalproductivity in the near-surface layers. Here we use 4 years (2007–2011)of velocity and hydrography records from a moored profiler over the LaptevSea slope and 15 months (2008–2009) of acoustic Doppler current profilerdata from a nearby mooring to investigate the structure and dynamics ofeddies at the continental margin of the eastern Eurasian Basin. Typical eddyscales are radii of the order of 10 km, heights of 600 m, andmaximum velocities of ∼0.1 m s−1. Eddies areapproximately equally divided between cyclonic and anticyclonicpolarizations, contrary to prior observations from the deep basins and alongthe Lomonosov Ridge. Eddies are present in the mooring records about 20 %–25 % of the time,taking about 1 week to pass through the mooring at anaverage frequency of about one eddy per month. We found that the eddies observed are formed in two distinct regions – near FramStrait, where the western branch of Atlantic Water (AW) enters the ArcticOcean, and near Severnaya Zemlya, where the Fram Strait and Barents Seabranches of the AW inflow merge. These eddies, embedded in the ArcticCircumpolar Boundary Current, carry anomalous water properties along theeastern Arctic continental slope. The enhanced diapycnal mixing that wefound within EB eddies suggests a potentially important role for eddies inthe vertical redistribution of heat in the Arctic Ocean interior.  more » « less
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Date Published:
Journal Name:
Ocean Science
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1329 to 1347
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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