Wind-driven freshwater buildup and release in the Beaufort Gyre constrained by mesoscale eddies
MetadataShow full item record
Recently, the Beaufort Gyre has accumulated over 20,000 km3 of freshwater in response to strong anticyclonic atmospheric winds that have prevailed over the gyre for almost two decades. Here we explore key physical processes affecting the accumulation and release of freshwater within an idealized eddy-resolving model of the Beaufort Gyre. We demonstrate that a realistic halocline can be achieved when its deepening tendency due to Ekman pumping is counteracted by the cumulative action of mesoscale eddies. Based on this balance, we derive analytical scalings for the depth of the halocline and its spin-up time scale and emphasize their explicit dependence on eddy dynamics. Our study further suggests that the Beaufort Gyre is currently in a state of high sensitivity to atmospheric winds. However, an intensification of surface stress would inevitably lead to a saturation of the freshwater content—a constraint inherently set by the intricacies of the mesoscale eddy dynamics.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2016. 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 43 (2016): 273–282, doi:10.1002/2015GL065957.
Suggested CitationArticle: Manucharyan, Georgy E., Spall, Michael A., "Wind-driven freshwater buildup and release in the Beaufort Gyre constrained by mesoscale eddies", Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016): 273–282, DOI:10.1002/2015GL065957, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/7812
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Ostrom, William M.; Kemp, John N.; Krishfield, Richard A.; Proshutinsky, Andrey (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2004-01)The Beaufort Gyre Freshwater Experiment (BGFE) observational program was designed to measure the freshwater content of the upper ocean and sea ice in the Beaufort Gyre of the Arctic Ocean using bottom-tethered moorings, ...
Proshutinsky, Andrey; Krishfield, Richard A.; Timmermans, Mary-Louise; Toole, John M.; Carmack, Eddy C.; McLaughlin, Fiona A.; Williams, William J.; Zimmermann, Sarah; Itoh, Motoyo; Shimada, Koji (American Geophysical Union, 2009-06-24)We investigate basin-scale mechanisms regulating anomalies in freshwater content (FWC) in the Beaufort Gyre (BG) of the Arctic Ocean using historical observations and data collected in 2003–2007. Specifically, the mean ...
Deterioration of perennial sea ice in the Beaufort Gyre from 2003 to 2012 and its impact on the oceanic freshwater cycle Krishfield, Richard A.; Proshutinsky, Andrey; Tateyama, K.; Williams, William J.; Carmack, Eddy C.; McLaughlin, Fiona A.; Timmermans, Mary-Louise (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-02-22)Time series of ice draft from 2003 to 2012 from moored sonar data are used to investigate variability and describe the reduction of the perennial sea ice cover in the Beaufort Gyre (BG), culminating in the extreme minimum ...