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Heat loss from the Atlantic water layer in the northern Kara Sea: causes and consequences

Dmitrenko, I.A.; Kirillov, S.A.; Serra, N.; Koldunov, N.V.; Ivanov, V.V.; Schauer, U.; Polyakov, I.V.; Barber, D.; Janout, M.; Lien, V.S.; Makhotin, M.; Aksenov, Y.. 2014 Heat loss from the Atlantic water layer in the northern Kara Sea: causes and consequences. Ocean Science, 10 (4). 719-730. https://doi.org/10.5194/os-10-719-2014

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Abstract/Summary

A distinct, subsurface density front along the eastern St. Anna Trough in the northern Kara Sea is inferred from hydrographic observations in 1996 and 2008–2010. Direct velocity measurements show a persistent northward subsurface current (~ 20 cm s−1) along the St. Anna Trough eastern flank. This sheared flow, carrying the outflow from the Barents and Kara Seas to the Arctic Ocean, is also evident from shipboard observations as well as from geostrophic velocities and numerical model simulations. Although no clear evidence for the occurrence of shear instabilities could be obtained, we speculate that the enhanced vertical mixing along the St. Anna Trough eastern flank promoted by a vertical velocity shear favors the upward heat loss from the intermediate warm Atlantic water layer. The associated upward heat flux is inferred to 50–100 W m−2 using hydrographic data and model simulations. The zone of lowered sea ice thickness and concentration essentially marks the Atlantic water pathway in the St. Anna Trough and adjacent Nansen Basin continental margin from both sea-ice remote sensing observations and model simulations. In fact, the seaice shows a consistently delayed freeze-up onset during fall and a reduction in the seaice thickness during winter. This is consistent with our results on the enhanced Atlantic water heat loss along the Atlantic water pathway in the St. Anna Trough.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.5194/os-10-719-2014
ISSN: 1812-0784
Date made live: 12 Mar 2014 13:23 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/505796

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