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

  • Author / Creator
    More, Colin
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.