Composition and variability of the Denmark Strait Overflow Water in a high-resolution numerical model hindcast simulation.

Behrens, Erik, Våge, Kjetil, Harden, Benjamin, Biastoch, Arne and Böning, Claus W. (2017) Composition and variability of the Denmark Strait Overflow Water in a high-resolution numerical model hindcast simulation. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122 (4). 2830-2846 . DOI 10.1002/2016JC012158.

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The upstream sources and pathways of the Denmark Strait Overflow Water and their variability have been investigated using a high-resolution model hindcast. This global simulation covers the period from 1948 to 2009 and uses a fine model mesh (1/20°) to resolve mesoscale features and the complex current structure north of Iceland explicitly. The three sources of the Denmark Strait Overflow, the shelfbreak East Greenland Current (EGC), the separated EGC, and the North Icelandic Jet, have been analyzed using Eulerian and Lagrangian diagnostics. The shelfbreak EGC contributes the largest fraction in terms of volume and freshwater transport to the Denmark Strait Overflow and is the main driver of the overflow variability. The North Icelandic Jet contributes the densest water to the Denmark Strait Overflow and shows only small temporal transport variations. During summer, the net volume and freshwater transports to the south are reduced. On interannual time scales, these transports are highly correlated with the large-scale wind stress curl around Iceland and, to some extent, influenced by the North Atlantic Oscillation, with enhanced southward transports during positive phases. The Lagrangian trajectories support the existence of a hypothesized overturning loop along the shelfbreak north of Iceland, where water carried by the North Icelandic Irminger Current is transformed and feeds the North Icelandic Jet. Monitoring these two currents and the region north of the Iceland shelfbreak could provide the potential to track long-term changes in the Denmark Strait Overflow and thus also the AMOC.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/308299
Keywords: North Atlantic; Denmark Strait; overflow; transport variability; overturning
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Projects: NACLIM
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 10:53
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:05

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