Reconstruction and analysis of the Chukchi Sea circulation in 1990–1991
Nechaev, D. A.
MetadataShow full item record
The Chukchi Sea (CS) circulation reconstructed for September 1990 to October 1991 from sea ice and ocean data is presented and analyzed. The core of the observational data used in this study comprises the records from 12 moorings deployed in 1990 and 1991 in U.S. and Russian waters and two hydrographic surveys conducted in the region in the fall of 1990 and 1991. The observations are processed by a two-step data assimilation procedure involving the Pan-Arctic Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (employing a nudging algorithm for sea ice data assimilation) and the Semi-implicit Ocean Model [utilizing a conventional four-dimensional variational (4D-var) assimilation technique]. The reconstructed CS circulation is studied to identify pathways and assess residence times of Pacific water in the region; quantify the balances of volume, freshwater, and heat content; and determine the leading dynamical factors configuring the CS circulation. It is found that in 1990–1991 (high AO index and a cyclonic circulation regime) Pacific water transiting the CS toward the Canada basin followed two major pathways, namely via Herald Canyon (Herald branch of circulation, 0.23 Sv) and between Herald Shoal and Cape Lisburne (central branch of circulation and Alaskan Coastal Current, 0.32 Sv). The annual mean flow through Long Strait was negligible (0.01 Sv). Typical residence time of Pacific water in the region varied between 150 days for waters entering the CS in September and 270 days for waters entering in February/March. Momentum balance analysis reveals that geostrophic balance between barotropic pressure gradient and Coriolis force dominated for most of the year. Baroclinic effects were important for circulation only in the regions with large horizontal salinity gradients associated with the fresh Alaskan and Siberian coastal currents and the Cape Lisburne and Great Siberian polynyas. In the polynyas, the baroclinic effects were due to strong salinification and convection processes associated with sea ice formation.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2010. 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 115 (2010): C08023, doi:10.1029/2009JC005453.
Suggested CitationJournal of Geophysical Research 115 (2010): C08023
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Okkonen, Stephen R.; Ashjian, Carin J.; Campbell, Robert G.; Maslowski, Wieslaw; Clement-Kinney, Jaclyn L.; Potter, Rachel (American Geophysical Union, 2009-06-27)Wind-driven changes in the path of warm Bering/Chukchi waters carried by the Alaska Coastal Current (ACC) through Barrow Canyon during late summer are described from high-resolution hydrography, acoustic Doppler current ...
Winsor, Peter; Chapman, David C. (American Geophysical Union, 2004-03-02)Pathways of Pacific Water flowing from the North Pacific Ocean through Bering Strait and across the Chukchi Sea are investigated using a two-dimensional barotropic model. In the no-wind case, the flow is driven only by a ...
Spall, Michael A. (American Geophysical Union, 2007-05-11)The circulation and water mass transformation in a regional ocean-ice model of the Chukchi Sea are discussed. The model has horizontal resolution of O(4 km), is forced by fluxes derived from daily NCEP reanalysis fields, ...