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The role of North Atlantic Current water in exchanges across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge from the Nordic Seas Open Access


Other title
Greenland-Scotland Ridge
Lagrangian particle tracking
Nordic seas
water mass exchanges
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
More, Colin
Supervisor and department
Bruce R. Sutherland, Physics
Paul G. Myers, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Examining committee member and department
Bruce R. Sutherland, Physics
Mathieu Dumberry, Physics
Andrew B. G. Bush
Paul G. Myers, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Department of Physics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The circulation and gradual transformation in properties of oceanic water masses is a matter of great interest for short-term weather and biological forecasting, as well as long-term climate change. It is usually agreed that the Nordic Seas between Greenland and Norway are key to these transformations since they are an important producer of dense water, a process central to the theory of the global thermohaline circulation. In this study, one component of this deep water is examined – that formed in the Nordic Seas themselves from the inflowing North Atlantic Current. Using Lagrangian particle tracking applied to a 50-year global ocean hindcast simulation, it is concluded that only about 6% of the inflowing North Atlantic Current is thus transformed, and that most of these transformations occur in boundary currents. Furthermore, it is found that the densified North Atlantic water attains only medium depths instead of joining the deep overflows. The model’s poor representation of vertical mixing, however, limits the applicability of this study to deep water formation.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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