Can Mid-Fjord Temperatures be Forecast from Shelf Temperatures Outside of Sermilik Fjord, Greenland?

Empress El - Aton1,2, Fiammetta Straneo2, Margaret Ruth Lindeman3, Robert Sanchez2 and James Holte2, (1)University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, United States, (2)Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States, (3)Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, United States
Through a decade of surveying water properties in Sermilik Fjord, southeast Greenland, it is understood that the submarine melting of marine-terminating glaciers, such as Helheim Glacier that drains in Sermilik Fjord, is one of the key factors in the mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet. Within the fjord there are three types of water, warm salty water from the Atlantic (AW), cold fresh water from the Polar Arctic (PW), as well as glacially modified water (GMW), which is a mixture of Atlantic water and melt water from the glacier. The denser AW plays a key role in submarine-melt; however, its properties are highly variable due to factors such as ocean atmosphere interactions and ocean circulation. The shelf acts as the point of entry for AW, and by analyzing annual temperature and salinity data from 2011 to 2017 we set out to understand how temperature changes on the shelf affect temperatures in the fjord. Our results indicate that there is a rough correlation between shelf temperatures and temperatures in the fjord, on average warmer shelf temperatures lead to warmer mid fjord and upper fjord temperatures. However, because of the limited yearly measurements, with some years having more measurements at greater depths or covering greater area within the fjord, it is challenging to find a simple relation between shelf and fjord temperatures.