Séminaire : Zoé Koenig (University of Bergen and Norwegian Polar Institute, Bergen): First glider observations north of Svalbard in Summer 2017
Wednesday 12 June 2019, 11:00am - 12:00pm
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Abstract : The West Spitsbergen Current (WSC) cools and freshens as it flows
northward along the western Svalbard shelf. The cooling takes place at
the ocean surface through interaction with the atmosphere and also in
subsurface. We present observations with high horizontal resolution
(around 2 km) from a SeaExplorer glider deployed in July 2017 for 14
days in the WSC offshore Kongsfjorden around 79°N. They document small
lenses (less than 10‐km diameter) of cold (less than 3.8 °C) and fresh
(less than 35.2 g/kg) waters in the core of the WSC, coming from the
shelf and contributing to its cooling and freshening. Data show that
water from the shelf cascades to the bottom of the slope and then
detaches on the offshore side of the WSC core where it is baroclinically
unstable. The presence of these lenses from the shelf can be related to
the wind regime. Strong southerly winds cause upwelling of the warm
Atlantic Water onto the shelf in winter. Weak and/or northerly winds
allow modified Atlantic Water formed by mixing with cold waters on the
shelf to cascade down the slope, leading to lenses of colder and fresher
water protruding into the WSC. If lenses are common in the WSC, they
could be contributing significantly to its cooling and freshening
especially in summer when the influence of the atmosphere on the cooling
of the WSC is less important.

This data set is completed by another one collected north of Svalbard in
September 2017 that gives a synoptic view of the circulation North of
Svalbard in summer 2017.
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Location salle de réunion LOCEAN, tour 45/55, 4eme étage



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