Evolution of Summer Ocean Mixed Layer Heat Content and Ocean/Ice Fluxes in the Arctic Ocean During the Last Decade

Friday, 19 December 2014: 5:15 PM
Timothy P Stanton and William J Shaw, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, United States
Since 2002, a series of 28 Autonomous Ocean Flux Buoys have been deployed in the Beaufort Sea and from the North Pole Environmental Observatory. These long-term ice-deployed instrument systems primarily measure vertical turbulent fluxes of heat, salt and momentum at a depth of 2 – 6 m below the ocean/ice interface, while concurrently measuring current profile every 2m down to approximately 40–50m depth, within the seasonal pycnocline. Additional sensors have been added to measure local ice melt rates acoustically, and finescale thermal structure from the eddy correlation flux sensor up into the ice to resolve summer near-surface heating. The AOFB buoys have typically been co-located with Ice Tethered Profilers, that measure the upper ocean T/S structure and ice mass balance instruments. Comparisons of near-surface heat fluxes, heat content and vertical structure over the last decade will be made for buoys in the Beaufort Sea and Transpolar Drift between the North Pole and Spitzbergen. The effects of enhanced basal melting from ice/albedo feedbacks can be clearly seen in the low ice concentration summer conditions found more recently in the Beaufort Sea, while there are less pronounced effects of enhanced summer surface heating in the higher ice concentrations still found in the transpolar drift.