Boundary circulation at the exit of the Labrador Sea.

Fischer, Jürgen , Schott, Friedrich and Dengler, Marcus (2004) Boundary circulation at the exit of the Labrador Sea. Open Access Journal of Physical Oceanography, 34 . pp. 1548-1570. DOI 10.1175/1520-0485(2004)034<1548:BCATEO>2.0.CO;2.

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Abstract

The deep circulation and related transports of the southern Labrador Sea are determined from direct current observations from ship surveys and a moored current-meter array. The measurements covered a time span from summer 1997 to 1999 and show a well-defined deep boundary current extending approximately out to the 3300-m depth contour and weak reverse currents farther offshore. The flow has a strong barotropic component, and significant baroclinic flow is only found in the shallow Labrador Current at the shelf break and associated with a deep core of Denmark Strait Overflow Water. The total deep-water transport below σΘ = 27.74 kg m−3 was 26 ± 5 Sv (Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) comprising Labrador Sea Water (LSW), Gibbs Fracture Zone Water (GFZW), and Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW). Intraseasonal variability of the flow and transport was high, ranging from 15 to 35 Sv, and the annual means differed by 17%. A seasonal cycle is confined to the shallow Labrador Current; in its deeper part, where the mean flow is still strong, no obvious seasonality could be detected. The transport of the interior anticyclonic recirculation was estimated from lowered acoustic Doppler current profiler stations and geostrophy, yielding about 9 Sv. Thus, the net deep-water outflow from the Labrador Sea was about 17 Sv. The baroclinic transport of GFZW and DSOW referenced to the depth of the isopycnal σΘ = 27.80 kg m−3 is only about one-third of the total transport in these layers. Longer-term variations of the total transports are not represented well by the baroclinic contribution.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Physical Oceanography; ocean circulation, boundary current, North Atlantic, Boundary Current, Labrador Sea
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1175/1520-0485(2004)034<1548:BCATEO>2.0.CO;2
ISSN: 0022-3670
Projects: SFB460
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2009 23:05
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2018 09:40
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/4061

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