Accession Number:

ADA629850

Title:

Modeling the Formation and Offshore Transport of Dense Shelf Water From High-Latitude Coastal Polynyas

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA

Report Date:

1999-09-30

Pagination or Media Count:

5.0

Abstract:

LONG-TERM GOALS. Our long-term goal is to understand the role that dense water, formed on high-latitude continental shelves, plays in the thermohaline circulation of the Arctic Ocean and the maintenance of the mean hydrographic structure of the deep Arctic basins, e.g. the upper halocline. OBJECTIVES. Our immediate objective is improve our basic understanding and ability to predict 1 the formation and offshore transport of dense shelf waters formed beneath high-latitude coastal polynyas and 2 the pathways by which dense shelf waters enter the deep basins. APPROACH. Our hypothesis is that dense water, formed beneath coastal polynyas, is transported across the shelf by small-scale 15-25 km eddies e.g. Gawarkiewicz and Chapman, 1995 Chapman and Gawarkiewicz, 1997 Chapman, 1999 Gawarkiewicz, 1999. These dense water eddies are capable of moving offshore across the shelf break and into the deep basins where they contribute to the maintenance of the observed thermohaline structure. We are testing this hypothesis with 1 process-oriented numerical modeling designed to examine the effects of alongshelf currents, submarine canyons and wind forcing on eddy fluxes, 2 analyses of historical observations from the Chukchi Shelf, and 3 realistic numerical modeling in conjunction with ongoing field programs to test our ability to model realistic coastal polynyas.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE