Deep Convection in the Irminger Sea Observed with a Dense Mooring Array.

de Jong, M. Femke, Oltmanns, Marilena , Karstensen, Johannes and de Steur, Laura (2018) Deep Convection in the Irminger Sea Observed with a Dense Mooring Array. Oceanography, 31 (1). pp. 50-59. DOI 10.5670/oceanog.2018.109.

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Deep convection is a key process in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, but because it acts at small scales, it remains poorly resolved by climate models. The occurrence of deep convection depends on weak initial stratification and strong surface buoyancy forcing, conditions that are satisfied in only a few ocean basins. In 2014, one of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) global arrays was installed close to the Central Irminger Sea (CIS) and the Long-term Ocean Circulation Observations (LOCO) moorings in the central Irminger Sea. These programs’ six moorings are located in the center of an area of deep convection and are distributed within a 50 km radius, thus offering detailed insight into spatial differences during the strong convection events that occurred during the winters of 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. Deep mixed layers, down to approximately 1,600 m, formed during both winters. The properties of the convectively renewed water mass at each mooring converge to a common temperature and salinity before restratification sets in at the end of winter. The largest differences in onset (or timing) of convection and restratification are seen between the northernmost and southernmost moorings. High-resolution atmospheric reanalysis data show there is higher atmospheric forcing at the northernmost mooring due to a more favorable position with respect to the Greenland tip jet. Nevertheless, earlier onset, and more continuous cooling and deepening of mixed layers, occurs at the southernmost mooring, while convection at the northern mooring is frequently interrupted by warm events. We propose that these warm events are associated with eddies and filaments originating from the Irminger Current off the coast of Greenland and that convection further south benefits from cold inflow from the southwest.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/308299 ; info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/312463 ; info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/633211 ; info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/727852
Additional Information: Data from the CIS and LOCO moorings are freely available from the OceanSITES database at OOI data were obtained from the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative Data Portal,, downloaded on August 9,2017
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.5670/oceanog.2018.109
ISSN: 1042-8275
Projects: AtlantOS, Blue-Action, NACLIM, FixO3
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2018 10:28
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:00

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