The West Spitsbergen Current: Transport, Forcing, and Variability.
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE SCHOOL OF OCEANOGRAPHY
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The West Spitsbergen Current is commonly considered to be the northern extension of the Norwegian Atlantic Current, and it forms one of the branches of the circulation pattern of the Greenland-Norwegian sea system. It flows northward along the continental margin west of Spitsbergen, entering the Arctic basin on the east side of the Greenland-Spitsbergen passage Fram Strait. Previous work Aagaard and Greisman, 1975 has shown that it provides the major component in the mass and heat balances of the Polar Basin. Beginning in summer 1976, moored current and temperature recorders have been deployed in the WSC at 79 N, and the data records from 1976-79 and 1980-81 provide the basis for this work. The data have been used to estimate the volume and heat transports by the current and to define the structure and variability of the flow. In addition to the presentation of basic results, there is a discussion of the dynamics of the current with emphasis on explaining the length and time scales of the observed variability and on ascertaining the nature of the forces driving the flow.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography