Freshwater fluxes through the Western Fram Strait

Michael Meredith, Karen J. Heywood, Paul Dennis, Laura Goldson, Rowan White, Eberhard Fahrbach, Ursula Schauer, Svein Østerhus

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Two hydrographic and d18O transects across Fram Strait (Aug-Sept 1997, 1998) are used to examine freshwater contributions to the East Greenland Current (EGC). The EGC featured up to ?~ 16% meteoric water in both years, but was made comparatively more saline through the formation of up to ?~11 m of sea ice. We derive meteoric water fluxes of ?~3680 km3yr-1 in Aug-Sept 1997, and ?~2000 km3yr-1 in Aug-Sept 1998. The 1997 and 1998 data show a long-term me~m sea ice flux through Fram Strait around half the long-term mean meteoric water flux. A 1991 d18O section [Bauch et al., 1995] yielded a very similar ratio. Our 1998 section reveals fresh, 1ow-6180 water on the East Greenland shelf whose comparatively large volume constitutes a potentially significant contribution to the total freshwater flux through Fram Strait. Such fluxes are important to the regional and global thermohaline circulation; we suggest that efforts towards monitoring both the EGC and East Greenland shelf waters are thus required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1615
Number of pages1
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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