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On the nature and origin of water masses in Herald Canyon, Chukchi Sea: Synoptic surveys in summer 2004, 2008, and 2009

Journal article
Authors Johanna Linders
R. S. Pickart
Göran Björk
G. W. K. Moore
Published in Progress in Oceanography
Volume 159
Pages 99-114
ISSN 0079-6611
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 99-114
Language en
Keywords Oceanography, Sea ice, Stream flow, Surveys, Coastal waters, High resolution, Large amounts, Source region, Synoptic surveys, Water formation, Western channels, Wind patterns, Hydrographic surveys, coastal water, deep water ventilation, dense water, hydrological modeling, intermediate water, polynya, shipborne measurement, submarine canyon, summer, water mass, wind forcing, Arctic Ocean, Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea
Subject categories Marine ecology


Hydrographic and velocity data from three high-resolution shipboard surveys of Herald Canyon in the northwest Chukchi Sea, in 2004, 2008, and 2009, are used to investigate the water masses in the canyon and their possible source regions. Both summer and winter Pacific waters were observed in varying amounts in the different years, although in general the summer waters resided on the eastern side of the canyon while the winter waters were located on the western flank. The predominant summer water was Bering summer water, although some Alaskan coastal water resided in the canyon in the two later years likely due to wind forcing. Both newly ventilated and remnant winter waters were found in the canyon, but the amount lessened in each successive survey. Using mooring data from Bering Strait it is shown that a large amount of Bering summer water in the western channel of the strait follows a relatively direct route into Herald Canyon during the summer months, with an estimated advective speed of 10–20 cm/s. However, while the winter water observed in 2004 was consistent with a Bering Strait source (with a slower advective speed of 5–8 cm/s), the dense water in the canyon during 2008 and 2009 was more in line with a northern source. This is consistent with sections to the west of the canyon and with previously reported measurements implying winter water formation on the East Siberian shelf. Large-scale wind patterns and polynya activity on the shelf are also investigated. It was found that the former appears to impact more strongly the presence of dense water in Herald Canyon. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

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