The circulation and variability in the western Arctic Ocean : model results
Dixon, Jeffrey S.
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Circulation in the western Arctic Ocean is not well understood. To address some of its outstanding questions, volume transport and property fluxes are investigated using a coupled ice-ocean model of the pan-Arctic region configured at a 1/12-degree and 45-level grid. Results for analyses are from the last 23 years of a 70-year integration forced with realistic 1979-2001 atmospheric data. Velocity at three depth intervals, mean transports and fluxes are investigated to identify the main current pathways and directions. Variability is determined by comparison of results a decade apart. Mean velocity fields describe a climatological circulation pattern that is cyclonic in nature with increased intensity during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The meander through the Chukchi Borderland Pass is the main pathway for boundary flow across the Chukchi Plateau. The northern Chukchi Plateau is modeled as a region of major volume, heat and freshwater transport into the Canada Basin interior. It also appears to be an area of net upward heat transport, which may be available for melting ice. Northward flow along the eastern side of the Northwind Ridge is identified as a mechanism for advection of freshwater from the Chukchi shelves into the interior.
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