Interaction of the Faroe Bank Channel overflow with Iceland Basin intermediate waters
Ullgren, Jenny E.
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The narrow and deep Faroe Bank Channel (FBC) is an important pathway for cold, dense waters from the Nordic Seas to flow across the Iceland-Scotland ridge into the North Atlantic. The swift, turbulent FBC overflow is associated with strong vertical mixing. Hydrographic profiles from a shipboard survey and two Slocum electric gliders deployed during a cruise in May–June 2012 show an intermediate water mass characterized by low salinity and low oxygen concentration between the upper waters of Atlantic origin and the dense overflow water. A weak low-salinity signal originating north-east of Iceland is discernible at the exit of the FBC, but smeared out by intense mixing. Further west (downstream) marked salinity and oxygen minima are found, which we hypothesize are indicators of a mixture of Labrador Sea Water and Intermediate Water from the Iceland Basin. Water mass characteristics vary strongly on short time scales. Low-salinity, low-oxygen water in the stratified interface above the overflow plume is shown to move along isopycnals toward the Iceland-Faroe Front as a result of eddy stirring and a secondary, transverse circulation in the plume interface. The interaction of low-salinity, low-oxygen intermediate waters with the overflow plume already at a short distance downstream of the sill, here reported for the first time, affects the final properties of the overflow waters through entrainment and mixing.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 119 (2014): 228-240, doi:10.1002/2013JC009437.
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