Arctic Mixed Layer Dynamics
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE POLAR SCIENCE CENTER
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Our long-term goal is to understand the dynamic and thermodynamic processes causing changes in the upper Arctic Ocean. In light of recent changes in the upper ocean structure, our long-term goals are shifting partly toward a better understanding of large-scale changes and their connection to global scale forcing. Our long-term goals have taken on new significance considering recent changes in the Arctic Ocean. The results of several expeditions in the 1990s indicate the upper Arctic Ocean is increasingly dominated by the Atlantic Water. The salinity of the upper 200 m of the Makarov Basin has increased by over 2.5 ooo. A warm core of Atlantic Water now lies over the Lomonosov Ridge and the halocline is thinning. Our immediate objectives are to determine the effect of shelf processes and their changes on the upper ocean properties, and we hope to determine if similar changes in ocean properties have occurred before. Having seen the scope of the change in the last decade and recognizing that many observational programs have been curtailed, we aim to develop a community wide program of long-term observations and modeling to understand the changes in the Arctic. On a smaller scale, and using our newly developed Autonomous Underwater Vehicle AUV tools, we aim to understand the effect of horizontal variability in stably stratified, under-ice boundary layers.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography