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Water masses and circulation pathways through the Iceland Basin during Vivaldi 1996

Pollard, R.T.; Read, J.F.; Holliday, N.P.; Leach, H.. 2004 Water masses and circulation pathways through the Iceland Basin during Vivaldi 1996. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109 (C4). C04004. 10.1029/2003JC002067

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Abstract/Summary

Quasi-synoptic data from late 1996 spanning the subpolar North Atlantic have been used to determine the major pathways of the North Atlantic Current (NAC) at that time. High spatial resolution allows fronts to be accurately positioned on each SeaSoar section. A clearly defined front of the NAC (the Southern Branch) turns north at around 25°W and continues through the middle of the Iceland Basin as far as 60°N, 20°W. A second branch (the Northern Branch or SubArctic Front) turns north around 30°W and retroflects westward north of 54°N to re-enter the Irminger Basin and become part of the Irminger Current up the western side of the Reykjanes Ridge. A third, eastward branch turns sharply northwest at the mouth of the Rockall Trough to skirt the southwestern margin of Hatton Bank. This branch carries a tongue of saline eastern North Atlantic water (ENAW) over Hatton Bank and in consequence ENAW covers the whole of the Hatton and Rockall Banks as well as the Rockall Trough, bounded in the west by the Southern Branch. The most saline water, found in Rockall Trough, spills out into the northern Iceland Basin between Rockall and Lousy Banks. This saline, weakly stratified tongue can be traced westward to the south of Iceland continuing southwestward along the eastern flank of the Reykjanes Ridge. Subarctic Intermediate Water is carried into the Iceland Basin, creating a fresh tongue bounded east and west by the more saline ENAW over Hatton Bank and the eastern flank of the Reykjanes Ridge respectively.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2003JC002067
ISSN: 0148-0227
Date made live: 13 Oct 2004 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/109861

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