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Creators/Authors contains: "Gelderloos, R."

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  1. Abstract

    Increased freshwater input to the Subpolar North Atlantic from Greenland ice melt and the Arctic could strengthen stratification in deep convection regions and impact the overturning circulation. However, freshwater pathways from the east Greenland shelf to deep convection regions are not fully understood. We investigate the role of strong wind events at Cape Farewell in driving surface freshwaters from the East Greenland Current to the Irminger Sea. Using a high‐resolution model and an atmospheric reanalysis, we identify strong wind events and investigate their impact on freshwater export. Westerly tip jets are associated with the strongest and deepest freshwater export across the shelfbreak, with a mean of 37.5 mSv of freshwater in the first 100 m (with reference salinity 34.9). These wind events tilt isohalines and extend the front offshore, especially over Eirik Ridge. Moderate westerly events are associated with weaker export across the shelfbreak (mean of 15.9 mSv) but overall contribute to more freshwater export throughout the year, including in summer, when the shelf is particularly fresh. Particle tracking shows that half of the surface waters crossing the shelfbreak during tip jet events are exported away from the shelf, either entering the Irminger Gyre, or being driven over Eirik Ridge. During strong westerly wind events, sea ice detaches from the coast and veers toward the Irminger Sea, but the contribution of sea ice to freshwater export at the shelfbreak is minimal compared to liquid freshwater export due to limited sea ice cover at Cape Farewell.

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  2. Abstract

    Mesoscale features present at the Denmark Strait sill regularly enhance the volume transport of the Denmark Strait overflow (DSO). They are important for the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and ultimately, for the global climate system. Using a realistic numerical model, we find new evidence of the causal relationship between overflow surges (i.e., mesoscale features associated with high‐transport events) and DSO cyclones observed downstream. Most of the cyclones form at the Denmark Strait sill during overflow surges and, because of potential vorticity conservation and stretching of the water column, grow as they move equatorward. A fraction of the cyclones form downstream of the sill, when anticyclonic vortices formed during high‐transport events start collapsing. Regardless of their formation mechanism, DSO cyclones weaken starting roughly 150 km downstream of the sill, and potential vorticity is only materially conserved during the growth phase.

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