Ocean circulation and fronts as related to ice melt-back in the Chukchi Sea
Paquette, Robert G
Bourke, Robert H.
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In summer at the edge of the retreating ice pack in the Chukchi Sea, a sharp temperature and salinity front is formed as the result of ice melt by warm surface water from the south. Beneath this front another front is present, formed from the juxtaposition of the resident winter bottom water under the ice and a water transitional between it and warm summer water flowing northward from Bering Strait. The two fronts may be coincident where the current shears parallel to the ice with low to moderate lateral mixing. They may also be widely separated in areas where the current impinges normal to the ice, most often within ice embayments. On the flanks of rapidly moving streams, wedge-like frontal interfaces in the lower layer are likely to be found. These fronts are often rich in temperature fine structure. The ice melt-back patterns and the various frontal arrangements appear to be controlled by steering of the currents by bottom bathymetry.
NPS Report NumberNPS 68-81-007
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