DECADAL variability of thermohaline structure at the SHEBA site
Tyner, Robin D.
Stanton, Timothy P.
Bourke, Robert H.
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Recent studies have documented changes in the thermohaline layer of the Canadian Basin. This study analyzes a year long set of temperature and salinity profiles from the SHEBA ice station, in comparison with the 40- year climatology from the EWG digital atlas, the most complete Arctic data compilation available. Significant anomalies were observed, including warming and shoaling of the Pacific layer south and east of the Chukchi Cap, absence of a Pacific layer north of the Chukchi Cap, upper halocline freshening, and large mixed layer salinity decreases in the Beaufort Sea in contrast to increases north of and over the Chukchi Cap. These anomalies suggest a shift in synoptic scale advective patterns in response to a weakened Beaufort High pressure system and a strengthened and expanded Eurasian Low pressure system. These circulation changes may restrict the flow of Pacific water through Herald Canyon, focusing it more through Barrow Canyon. Ice cover/thickness changes may also contribute to the observed anomalies
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