Exchange of water mass properties between the Greenland shelf and the surrounding subpolar North Atlantic

Kevin Wiegand1,2, Dagmar Kieke1 and Paul Glen Myers3, (1)University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany, (2)MARUM - University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany, (3)University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
In this study we analyze the exchange processes between the Greenland shelf and its surrounding open ocean regions, the Labrador and Irminger Seas. These regions are affected by the northward transport of warm and saline water within the North Atlantic Current and Irminger Current into the Irminger Sea. Remnants of this water continues to penetrate more westward into the Labrador Sea. In addition, an accelerated loss of mass from Greenland’s ice sheet together with melting sea ice contributes to a release and propagation of cold and fresh water along the Greenland shelf.

The Labrador and Irminger Seas receive great amounts of heat and freshwater, both impacting the local water mass formation. The rate of this formation is affected when water is entrained that changes the buoyancy in the water column.

The aim of this study is thus to address the present-day oceanic exchange between the ocean interior and the shelf and vice versa on the eastern and western sides of Greenland based on large scale hydrographic data sets from CMEMS, Argo (for open ocean) and ship sections.

On this basis, we present maps of salinity and freshwater anomalies and analyze for spatial and temporal advection patterns.