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      Arctic Ocean outflow and glacier–ocean interaction modify water over the Wandel Sea shelf, northeast Greenland

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          Abstract

          The first-ever conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD) observations on the Wandel Sea shelf in North Eastern Greenland were collected in April–May 2015. They were complemented by CTD profiles taken along the continental slope during the Norwegian FRAM 2014–15 drift. The CTD profiles are used to reveal the origin of water masses and interactions with ambient water from the continental slope and the outlet glaciers. The subsurface water is associated with the Pacific Water outflow from the Arctic Ocean. The underlying Halocline separates the Pacific Water from a deeper layer of Polar Water that has interacted with the warm Atlantic water outflow through Fram Strait recorded below 140 m. Over the outer shelf, the Halocline shows numerous cold density-compensated intrusions indicating lateral interaction with an ambient Polar Water mass across the continental slope. At the glacier front, colder and turbid water intrusions were observed at the base of the Halocline. In temperature–salinity space, these data follow a mixing line that diverges from ambient water properties and indicates ocean–glacier interaction. Our observations of Pacific Water are set within the context of upstream observations in the Beaufort Sea and downstream observations from the Northeast Water Polynya and clearly show the modification of Pacific water during its advection across the Arctic Ocean. Moreover, ambient water over the Wandel Sea slope shows different thermohaline structures indicating the different origin and pathways of the on-shore and off-shore branches of the Arctic Ocean outflow through western Fram Strait.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Ocean Science Discussions
          Ocean Sci. Discuss.
          Copernicus GmbH
          1812-0822
          April 20 2017
          : 1-47
          Article
          10.5194/os-2017-28
          © 2017

          https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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