Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Free Content Spatial continuity of measured seawater and tracer fluxes through Nares Strait, a dynamically wide channel bordering the Canadian Archipelago

Download Article:
(PDF 3,594.2 kb)
Freshwater delivered as precipitation and runoff to the North Pacific and Arctic oceans returns to the Atlantic principally via the Canadian polar shelf and Fram Strait. It is conveyed as ice or freshened seawater. Here we use detailed ship-based measurements to calculate a snap-shot of volume, freshwater, and tracer fluxes through Nares Strait, a 500-km long waterway separating Greenland and Ellesmere Island. We use quasi-synoptic observations of current by ship-mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), of salinity and temperature by CTD probe and of dissolved nutrients by rosette bottle sampler on four cross-sections between 82 and 78N latitude. Data were collected during the first half of August 2003. We partition the fluxes into components derived from Pacific and Atlantic inflows into the Arctic Ocean. During the time of the survey, there was a net southward 0.91±0.10 Sv (106 m3 s-1) flux of volume and a net southward 31±4 10-3 Sv (977±127 km3 y-1) flux of freshwater relative to a salinity of 34.8. Much of the volume flux was carried within a strong (40 cm s-1), narrow (10 km) subsurface jet hugging the western (Ellesmere Island) side of the strait. The presence of this jet in four sections spanning the 500-km length of the strait is evidence of a buoyant boundary current through the strait. The jet was coincident with elevated concentrations of phosphate (1.0 mmol m-3) and silicate (11 mmol m-3) which both indicate a Pacific Ocean source. We interpreted the ratio of dissolved total inorganic nitrogen to phosphate in terms of fractional dilution of Atlantic by Pacific waters. About 0.43±0.10 Sv (39%) of the southward flow was of Pacific origin. These results are a snapshot during the summer of 2003 following a prolonged period of northward directed wind stress when ice cover was mobile. Although long-term mean values are likely different, we determined that the major fraction of the through-flow is carried by a jet of scale determined by the internal Rossby radius (5-10 km).
No References for this article.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Purchase The Sea
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more