Halocline structure in the Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean
McLaughlin, Fiona A.
Carmack, Eddy C.
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We examine the varieties and spatial distributions of Pacific and Eastern Arctic origin halocline waters in the Canada Basin using 2002–2003 hydrographic data. The halocline structure in the Canada Basin is different from the Eastern Arctic halocline because it includes fresher Pacific Winter Waters that form a “cold halostad” which lies above the Eastern Arctic origin lower halocline waters. The structure of the halostad in the Canada Basin, however, is not spatially uniform, and depends on the pathway and history of the source water. Pacific Winter Water entering through the Bering Strait becomes salty due to sea ice formation and this, in turn, is dependent on the occurrence and distribution of polynyas. In particular, saline water from the eastern Chukchi Sea forms thick halostad and causes depression of the isohalines in the southern Canada Basin. This depression influences thermohaline structure of the oceanic Beaufort Gyre.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2005. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 32 (2005): L03605, doi:10.1029/2004GL021358.