Buoyant Currents West and East of Greenland

Friday, 19 December 2014
Yevgeny Aksenov1, Sheldon Bacon2, George Nurser1 and Andrew Coward1, (1)National Oceanography Center, Soton, Marine Systems Modelling, Southampton, United Kingdom, (2)National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom
Low salinity buoyant polar waters exit the Arctic Ocean into the Nordic Seas and the North Atlantic, affecting deep convection in the Nordic and Labrador Seas with potential impacts on the meridional overturning circulation. The pathways of the polar water in Davis Strait, Fram Strait and then to the south are well documented by observations and model simulations. In contrast, measurements upstream of Fram Strait are too sparse to allow us to explain what causes the outflows to exit either west or east of Greenland or to attribute the variability in the Arctic outflows to atmospheric or oceanic mechanisms. Two high-resolution global ocean general circulation models (OGCM), NEMO-ORCA025, of ~12 km resolution, and NEMO-ORCA12, of ~4 km resolution, have been used to examine the dynamics and seasonal variability of the outflow west and east of Greenland. Montgomery potential analysis is used to investigate the dynamics of the currents in the area. The model results suggest wind as a driving mechanism for the seasonal variability of the ocean circulation in the area.