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Winter water formation in coastal polynyas of the Eastern Chukchi Shelf: Pacific and Atlantic influences

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Hirano, D, Fukamachi, Y, Ohshima, KI, Watanabe, E, Mahoney, AR, Eicken, H, Itoh, M, Simizu, D, Iwamoto, K, Jones, J, Takatsuka, T, Kikuchi, T and Tamura, T 2018 , 'Winter water formation in coastal polynyas of the Eastern Chukchi Shelf: Pacific and Atlantic influences' , Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 123, no. 8 , pp. 5688-5705 , doi: 10.1029/2017JC013307.

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Abstract

Water properties and formation processes of Alaskan Coastal Winter Water (ACWW) over the eastern Chukchi shelf along the Alaska coast, the so-called Barrow Canyon pathway, are examined using data from moorings, atmospheric reanalysis, satellite-derived sea-ice production (SIP), and a numerical tracer experiment. Along this pathway, Pacific Winter Water (PWW) can be modified to produce ACWW through SIP accompanied by production of cold, saline polynya water in the coastal polynyas, upwelling of warm Atlantic Water (AW), and mixing processes on the shelf. Three different types of ACWW are formed: (i) a mixture of AW and PWW, (ii) a mixture of AW and polynya water, and (iii) hypersaline polynya water. The northeasterly winds, correlated with the north-south atmospheric pressure gradient between Beaufort High and Aleutian Low, are common triggers of polynya SIP episodes and AW upwelling in the Barrow Coastal Polynya (BCP). Due to the dual impact of northeasterly winds, PWW modification processes in the BCP are more complicated than what occurs elsewhere in the Chukchi Polynya. The impact of AW upwelling on the ACWW formation is most prominent in the BCP, usually centered along the coast. All types of ACWW are thought to be basically transported westward or northwestward with the Chukchi slope current and/or Beaufort Gyre and finally contribute to maintenance of the lower halocline layer especially over the Chukchi Borderland, Northwind Ridge, and southern Canada Basin. Even in the Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean, ACWW properties are strongly influenced by both Atlantic-origin and Pacific-origin waters.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hirano, D and Fukamachi, Y and Ohshima, KI and Watanabe, E and Mahoney, AR and Eicken, H and Itoh, M and Simizu, D and Iwamoto, K and Jones, J and Takatsuka, T and Kikuchi, T and Tamura, T
Keywords: Alaskan coastal winter water, hybrid coastal polynya, sea-ice production, upwelling, ocean heat flux, Chukchi Sea
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Inc.
ISSN: 2169-9275
DOI / ID Number: 10.1029/2017JC013307
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 American Geophysical Union

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