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Numerical study of winter water formation in the Chukchi Sea: Roles and impacts of coastal polynyas


Kawaguchi, Y and Tamura, T and Nishino, S and Kikuchi, T and Itoh, M and Mitsudera, H, Numerical study of winter water formation in the Chukchi Sea: Roles and impacts of coastal polynyas, Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics, 116, (C7) Article C07025. ISSN 2156-2202 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1029/2010JC006606


Winter water formation is examined in the Chukchi Sea for the winters of 1992C2006 using a primitive equation ocean model forced by NCEP wind and surface salinity flux derived from SSM/I thin ice thickness estimates. The model is also forced by an external inflow of 0.8 Sv through the Bering Strait. The model successfully reproduces the oceanic circulation on the Chukchi shelf, thus providing numerous insights into behaviors of salt\enriched water produced on the shelf. The experiments show that under northeasterly winds, northward throughflow across Barrow Canyon is reduced. This results in salinity buildup under freezing conditions and ultimately in greater enhancement of salinity of the waters carried into the Arctic Basin. The flow and salinity enhancement of the flow through Herald Canyon is less extreme but more steady than through Barrow Canyon. Together with moored salinity in the Bering Strait, the model results estimate the actual salinity to be 32.9 0.8 psu and 32.7 0.3 psu, respectively, for waters moving through the Barrow and Herald Canyons. Both estimates are less than 33.1 psu that is typically observed for the cold halostad layer in the Canada Basin, suggesting the importance of diapycnal mixing with saltier Atlantic origin water.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Chukchi Sea, winter water formation, coastal polynyas
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)
UTAS Author:Tamura, T (Dr Takeshi Tamura)
ID Code:76869
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2012-03-14
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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