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Atlantic waters inflow north of Svalbard: insights from IAOOS observations and Mercator Ocean global operational system during N-ICE2015

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 17:19 authored by Koenig, Z, Provost, C, Villacieros-Robineau, N, Sennechael, N, Amelie MeyerAmelie Meyer, Lellouche, J-M, Garric, G
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.


Publication title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)

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