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Sea ice production and water mass modification in the eastern Laptev Sea

Krumpen, T.; Holemann, J. A.; Willmes, S.; Morales Maqueda, M. A.; Busche, T.; Dmitrenko, I. A.; Gerdes, R.; Haas, C.; Heinemann, G.; Hendricks, S.; Kassens, H.; Rabenstein, L.; Schröder, D.. 2011 Sea ice production and water mass modification in the eastern Laptev Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, C05014. 17, pp. 10.1029/2010JC006545

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Abstract/Summary

A simple polynya flux model driven by standard atmospheric forcing is used to investigate the ice formation that took place during an exceptionally strong and consistent western New Siberian (WNS) polynya event in 2004 in the Laptev Sea. Whether formation rates are high enough to erode the stratification of the water column beneath is examined by adding the brine released during the 2004 polynya event to the average winter density stratification of the water body, preconditioned by summers with a cyclonic atmospheric forcing (comparatively weakly stratified water column). Beforehand, the model performance is tested through a simulation of a well-documented event in April 2008. Neglecting the replenishment of water masses by advection into the polynya area, we find the probability for the occurrence of density-driven convection down to the bottom to be low. Our findings can be explained by the distinct vertical density gradient that characterizes the area of the WNS polynya and the apparent lack of extreme events in the eastern Laptev Sea. The simple approach is expected to be sufficiently rigorous, since the simulated event is exceptionally strong and consistent, the ice production and salt rejection rates are likely to be overestimated, and the amount of salt rejected is distrusted over a comparatively weakly stratified water column. We conclude that the observed erosion of the halocline and formation of vertically mixed water layers during a WNS polynya event is therefore predominantly related to wind- and tidally driven turbulent mixing processes

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2010JC006545
ISSN: 0148-0227
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Funding Agency Grant Number BMBF 03G0639A Alfred Wegener Institute; German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi)
Additional Keywords: LAWRENCE ISLAND POLYNYA; TIME DEPENDENT MODEL; COASTAL POLYNYA; INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY; ARCTIC OCEAN; FLUX MODEL; THICKNESS; SATELLITE; WIND; LAPTEV SEA
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 03 Jun 2011 15:08
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/14363

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