skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1822334

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    A theory for the mean ice thickness and the Transpolar Drift in the Arctic Ocean is developed. Asymptotic expansions of the ice momentum and thickness equations are used to derive analytic expressions for the leading-order ice thickness and velocity fields subject to wind stress forcing and heat loss to the atmosphere. The theory is most appropriate for the eastern and central Arctic, but not for the region of the Beaufort Gyre subject to anticyclonic wind stress curl. The scale analysis reveals two distinct regimes: a thin ice regime in the eastern Arctic and a thick ice regime in the western Arctic. In the eastern Arctic, the ice drift is controlled by a balance between wind and ocean drag, while the ice thickness is controlled by heat loss to the atmosphere. In contrast, in the western Arctic, the ice thickness is determined by a balance between wind and internal ice stress, while the drift is indirectly controlled by heat loss to the atmosphere. The southward flow toward Fram Strait is forced by the across-wind gradient in ice thickness. The basic predictions for ice thickness, heat loss, ice volume, and ice export from the theory compare well with an idealized, coupledmore »ocean–ice numerical model over a wide range of parameter space. The theory indicates that increasing atmospheric temperatures or wind speed result in a decrease in maximum ice thickness and ice volume. Increasing temperatures also result in a decrease in heat loss to the atmosphere and ice export through Fram Strait, while increasing winds drive increased heat loss and ice export.

    « less
  2. Abstract A simplified quasigeostrophic (QG) analytical model together with an idealized numerical model are used to study the effect of uneven ice–ocean stress on the temporal evolution of the geostrophic current under sea ice. The tendency of the geostrophic velocity in the QG model is given as a function of the lateral gradient of vertical velocity and is further related to the ice–ocean stress with consideration of a surface boundary layer. Combining the analytical and numerical solutions, we demonstrate that the uneven stress between the ice and an initially surface-intensified, laterally sheared geostrophic current can drive an overturning circulation to trigger the displacement of isopycnals and modify the vertical structure of the geostrophic velocity. When the near-surface isopycnals become tilted in the opposite direction to the deeper ones, a subsurface velocity core is generated (via geostrophic setup). This mechanism should help understand the formation of subsurface currents in the edge of Chukchi and Beaufort Seas seen in observations. Furthermore, our solutions reveal a reversed flow extending from the bottom to the middepth, suggesting that the ice-induced overturning circulation potentially influences the currents in the deep layers of the Arctic Ocean, such as the Atlantic Water boundary current.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  3. null (Ed.)
  4. null (Ed.)
    Abstract The boundary current system in the Labrador Sea plays an integral role in modulating convection in the interior basin. Four years of mooring data from the eastern Labrador Sea reveal persistent mesoscale variability in the West Greenland boundary current. Between 2014 and 2018, 197 mid-depth intensified cyclones were identified that passed the array near the 2000 m isobath. In this study, we quantify these features and show that they are the downstream manifestation of Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW) cyclones. A composite cyclone is constructed revealing an average radius of 9 km, maximum azimuthal speed of 24 cm/s, and a core propagation velocity of 27 cm/s. The core propagation velocity is significantly smaller than upstream near Denmark Strait, allowing them to trap more water. The cyclones transport a 200-m thick lens of dense water at the bottom of the water column, and increase the transport of DSOW in the West Greenland boundary current by 17% relative to the background flow. Only a portion of the features generated at Denmark Strait make it to the Labrador Sea, implying that the remainder are shed into the interior Irminger Sea, are retroflected at Cape Farewell, or dissipate. A synoptic shipboard survey eastmore »of Cape Farewell, conducted in summer 2020, captured two of these features which shed further light on their structure and timing. This is the first time DSOW cyclones have been observed in the Labrador Sea—a discovery that could have important implications for interior stratification.« less
  5. Abstract An idealized two-layer shallow water model is applied to the study of the dynamics of the Arctic Ocean halocline. The model is forced by a surface stress distribution reflective of the observed wind stress pattern and ice motion and by an inflow representing the flow of Pacific Water through Bering Strait. The model reproduces the main elements of the halocline circulation: an anticyclonic Beaufort Gyre in the western basin (representing the Canada Basin), a cyclonic circulation in the eastern basin (representing the Eurasian Basin), and a Transpolar Drift between the two gyres directed from the upwind side of the basin to the downwind side of the basin. Analysis of the potential vorticity budget shows a basin-averaged balance primarily between potential vorticity input at the surface and dissipation at the lateral boundaries. However, advection is a leading-order term not only within the anticyclonic and cyclonic gyres but also between the gyres. This means that the eastern and western basins are dynamically connected through the advection of potential vorticity. Both eddy and mean fluxes play a role in connecting the regions of potential vorticity input at the surface with the opposite gyre and with the viscous boundary layers. These conclusions aremore »based on a series of model runs in which forcing, topography, straits, and the Coriolis parameter were varied.« less
  6. The Nordic seas are commonly described as a single basin to investigate their dynamics and sensitivity to environmental changes when using a theoretical framework. Here, we introduce a conceptual model for a two-basin marginal sea that better represents the Nordic seas geometry. In our conceptual model, the marginal sea is characterized by both a cyclonic boundary current and a front current as a result of different hydrographic properties east and west of the midocean ridge. The theory is compared to idealized model simulations and shows good agreement over a wide range of parameter settings, indicating that the physics in the two-basin marginal sea is well captured by the conceptual model. The balances between the atmospheric buoyancy forcing and the lateral eddy heat fluxes from the boundary current and the front current differ between the Lofoten and the Greenland Basins, since the Lofoten Basin is more strongly eddy dominated. Results show that this asymmetric sensitivity leads to opposing responses depending on the strength of the atmospheric buoyancy forcing. Additionally, the front current plays an essential role for the heat and volume budget of the two basins, by providing an additional pathway for heat toward the interior of both basins via lateralmore »eddy heat fluxes. The variability of the temperature difference between east and west influences the strength of the different flow branches through the marginal sea and provides a dynamical explanation for the observed correlation between the front current and the slope current of the Norwegian Atlantic Current in the Nordic seas.« less