Variability of the Circulation in the European Polar Seas
Final project rept. 1 Jun 93-31 May 96
LAMONT-DOHERTY EARTH OBSERVATORY PALISADES NY
Pagination or Media Count:
Our primary goal was to study formation rates, pathways and mean residence times of the deep waters in the basins of the European Polar Seas. Evaluation of the tritiumexp 3He time series for the Greenland Sea Deep Water spanning the period between 1972 and 1988 yielded the surprising result of a drastic reduction in Greenland Sea Deep Water formation from about 0.5 Sv to 0.1 Sv starting around 1980. However, this drastic change produces only a very small hydrographic signature of the order of 0.005 psu and 0.1 deg C which is not large enough for quantification of the change of the deep water formation rate. Therefore, tracer studies are a unique tool for studies of variability of ocean circulation on a time scale of several years to several decades. Our initial focus was on quantification of variability of Greenland Sea Deep Water formation because this water mass is fairly homogeneous and is relatively well sampled. In the framework of the AASERT grant we planned to extend the evaluation of our tracer time series to the shallow water column of the Greenland Sea and to other basins of the Eurasian Polar Seas.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography