A numerical study of interannual variability in the North Icelandic Irminger Current
Pickart, Robert S.
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The North Icelandic Irminger Current (NIIC) is an important component of the Atlantic Water (AW) inflow to the Nordic Seas. In this study, both observations and a high‐resolution (1/12°) numerical model are used to investigate the seasonal to interannual variability of the NIIC and its forcing mechanisms. The model‐simulated velocity and hydrographic fields compare well with the available observations. The water mass over the entire north Icelandic shelf exhibits strong seasonal variations in both temperature and salinity, and such variations are closely tied to the AW seasonality in the NIIC. In addition to seasonal variability, there is considerable variation on interannual time scales, including a prominent event in 2003 when the AW volume transport increased by about 0.5 Sv. To identify and examine key forcing mechanisms for this event, we analyzed outputs from two additional numerical experiments: using only the seasonal climatology for buoyancy flux (the momentum case) and using only the seasonal climatology for wind stress (the buoyancy case). It is found that changes in the wind stress are predominantly responsible for the interannual variations in the AW volume transport, AW fraction in the NIIC water, and salinity. Temperature changes on the shelf, however, are equally attributable to the buoyancy flux and wind forcing. Correlational analyses indicate that the AW volume transport is most sensitive to the wind stress southwest of Iceland.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2018. 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 123(12), (2018): 8994-9009, doi:10.1029/2018JC013800.
Suggested CitationZhao, J., Yang, JY., Semper, S., Pickart, RS., Vage, K., Valdimarsson, H., Jonsson, S. (2018). A numerical study of interannual variability in the North Icelandic Irminger Current. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 123(12), 8994-9009
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