Harden Benjamin E.

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Benjamin E.

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Article
    Offshore transport of dense water from the East Greenland Shelf
    (American Meteorological Society, 2014-01) Harden, Benjamin E. ; Pickart, Robert S. ; Renfrew, Ian A.
    Data from a mooring deployed at the edge of the East Greenland shelf south of Denmark Strait from September 2007 to October 2008 are analyzed to investigate the processes by which dense water is transferred off the shelf. It is found that water denser than 27.7 kg m−3—as dense as water previously attributed to the adjacent East Greenland Spill Jet—resides near the bottom of the shelf for most of the year with no discernible seasonality. The mean velocity in the central part of the water column is directed along the isobaths, while the deep flow is bottom intensified and veers offshore. Two mechanisms for driving dense spilling events are investigated, one due to offshore forcing and the other associated with wind forcing. Denmark Strait cyclones propagating southward along the continental slope are shown to drive off-shelf flow at their leading edges and are responsible for much of the triggering of individual spilling events. Northerly barrier winds also force spilling. Local winds generate an Ekman downwelling cell. Nonlocal winds also excite spilling, which is hypothesized to be the result of southward-propagating coastally trapped waves, although definitive confirmation is still required. The combined effect of the eddies and barrier winds results in the strongest spilling events, while in the absence of winds a train of eddies causes enhanced spilling.
  • Article
    The annual salinity cycle of the Denmark Strait Overflow
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-03-22) Opher, Jacob G. ; Brearley, J. Alexander ; Dye, Stephen R. ; Pickart, Robert S. ; Renfrew, Ian A. ; Harden, Benjamin E. ; Meredith, Michael P.
    The Denmark Strait Overflow (DSO) is an important source of dense water input to the deep limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). It is fed by separate currents from the north that advect dense water masses formed in the Nordic Seas and Arctic Ocean which then converge at Denmark Strait. Here we identify an annual salinity cycle of the DSO, characterized by freshening in winter and spring. The freshening is linked to freshening of the Shelfbreak East Greenland Current in the Blosseville Basin north of the Denmark Strait. We demonstrate that the East Greenland Current advects fresh pycnocline water above the recirculating Atlantic Water, which forms a low salinity lid for the overflow in Denmark Strait and in the Irminger Basin. This concept is supported by intensified freshening of the DSO in lighter density classes on the Greenland side of the overflow. The salinity of the DSO in the Irminger Basin is significantly correlated with northerly/northeasterly winds in the Blosseville Basin at a lag of 3–4 months, consistent with estimated transit times. This suggests that wind driven variability of DSO source water exerts an important influence on the salinity variability of the downstream DSO, and hence the composition of the deep limb of the AMOC.
  • Article
    Meteorological buoy observations from the central Iceland Sea
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-04-24) Harden, Benjamin E. ; Renfrew, Ian A. ; Petersen, Guðrún N.
    We present the first continuous in situ atmospheric observations from the central Iceland Sea collected from a meteorological buoy deployed for a 2 year period between 23 November 2007 and 21 August 2009. We use these observations to evaluate the ERA-Interim reanalysis product and demonstrate that it represented low-level meteorological fields and surface turbulent fluxes in this region very well. The buoy observations showed that moderate to strong winds were common from any direction, while wind speeds below 5 ms−1 were relatively rare. The observed low-level air temperature and surface heat fluxes were related to the wind direction with cold-air outbreaks most common from the northwest. Mean wintertime turbulent heat fluxes were modest (<60 Wm−2), but the range was substantial. High heat flux events, greater than 200 Wm−2, typically occurred every 1–2 weeks in the winter, with each event lasting on average 2.5 days with an average total turbulent heat flux of ∼200 Wm−2 out of the ocean. The most pronounced high heat flux events over the central Iceland Sea were associated with cold-air outbreaks from the north and west forced by a deep Lofoten Low over the Norwegian Sea.
  • Article
    The impact of resolution on the representation of southeast Greenland barrier winds and katabatic flows
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-04-19) Moore, G. W. K. ; Renfrew, Ian A. ; Harden, Benjamin E. ; Mernild, Sebastian H.
    Southern Greenland is characterized by a number of low-level high wind speed weather systems that are the result of topographic flow distortion. These systems include barrier winds and katabatic flow that occur along its southeast coast. Global atmospheric reanalyses have proven to be important tools in furthering our understanding of these orographic winds and their role in the climate system. However, there is evidence that the mesoscale characteristics of these systems may be missed in these global products. Here we show that the Arctic System Reanalysis, a higher-resolution regional reanalysis, is able to capture mesoscale features of barrier winds and katabatic flow that are missed or underrepresented in ERA-I, a leading modern global reanalysis. This suggests that our understanding of the impact of these wind systems on the coupled-climate system can be enhanced through the use of higher-resolution regional reanalyses or model data.