Atlantic waters inflow north of Svalbard: insights from IAOOS observations and Mercator Ocean global operational system during N-ICE2015
Koenig, Z and Provost, C and Villacieros-Robineau, N and Sennechael, N and Meyer, A and Lellouche, J-M and Garric, G, Atlantic waters inflow north of Svalbard: insights from IAOOS observations and Mercator Ocean global operational system during N-ICE2015, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122, (2) pp. 1254-1273. ISSN 2169-9275 (2017) [Refereed Article]
As part of the N‐ICE2015 campaign, IAOOS (Ice Atmosphere Ocean Observing System) platforms
gathered intensive winter data at the entrance of Atlantic Water (AW) inflow to the
Arctic Ocean north of Svalbard. These data are used to examine the performance of
the 1/12° resolution Mercator Ocean global operational ice/ocean model in the marginal
ice zone north of Svalbard. Modeled sea‐ice extent, ocean heat fluxes, mixed layer
depths and AW mass characteristics are in good agreement with observations. Model
outputs are then used to put the observations in a larger spatial and temporal context.
Model outputs show that AW pathways over and around the Yermak Plateau differ in winter
from summer. In winter, the large AW volume transport of the West Spitsbergen Current
(WSC) (∼4 Sv) proceeds to the North East through 3 branches: the Svalbard Branch (∼0.5
Sv) along the northern shelf break of Svalbard, the Yermak Branch (∼1.1 Sv) along
the western slope of the Yermak Plateau and the Yermak Pass Branch (∼2.0 Sv) through
a pass in the Yermak Plateau at 80.8°N. In summer, the AW transport in the WSC is
smaller (∼2 Sv) and there is no transport through the Yermak Pass. Although only eddy‐permitting
in the area, the model suggests an important mesoscale activity throughout the AW
flow. The large differences in ice extent between winters 2015 and 2016 follow very
distinct atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the preceding summer and autumn seasons.
Convection‐induced upward heat fluxes maintained the area free of ice in winter 2016.
Arctic, ocean, Atlantic water inflow, observations, model, sea-ice, Yermak Pass, Yermak Plateau, N-ICE2015, IAOOS, Mercator global model, heat flux, melt