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Boundary Current Eddies and Their Role in the Restratification of the Labrador Sea

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  • 1 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • | 2 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
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Abstract

An idealized model is used to study the restratification of the Labrador Sea after deep convection, with emphasis on the role of boundary current eddies shed near the west coast of Greenland. The boundary current eddies carry warm, buoyant Irminger Current water into the Labrador Sea interior. For a realistic end-of-winter state, it is shown that these Irminger Current eddies are efficient in restratifying the convected water mass in the interior of the Labrador Sea. In addition, it is demonstrated that Irminger Current eddies can balance a significant portion of the atmospheric heat loss and thus play an important role for the watermass transformation in the Labrador Sea.

Current affiliation: Oceanographic Research Department, KNMI, De Bilt, Netherlands

Corresponding author address: Caroline A. Katsman, KNMI, Oceanographic Research Department, P.O. Box 201, 3730 AE De Bilt, Netherlands. Email: katsman@knmi.nl

Abstract

An idealized model is used to study the restratification of the Labrador Sea after deep convection, with emphasis on the role of boundary current eddies shed near the west coast of Greenland. The boundary current eddies carry warm, buoyant Irminger Current water into the Labrador Sea interior. For a realistic end-of-winter state, it is shown that these Irminger Current eddies are efficient in restratifying the convected water mass in the interior of the Labrador Sea. In addition, it is demonstrated that Irminger Current eddies can balance a significant portion of the atmospheric heat loss and thus play an important role for the watermass transformation in the Labrador Sea.

Current affiliation: Oceanographic Research Department, KNMI, De Bilt, Netherlands

Corresponding author address: Caroline A. Katsman, KNMI, Oceanographic Research Department, P.O. Box 201, 3730 AE De Bilt, Netherlands. Email: katsman@knmi.nl

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