Lagrangian transport across the upper Arctic waters in the Canada Basin

Francisco Balibrea-Iniesta, Jiping Xie, Víctor J. García-Garrido, Laurent Bertino, Ana M. Mancho, Stephen Wiggins
2018 Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society  
The goal of this paper is to study transport, from a Lagrangian perspective, across selected circulation patterns in the upper Arctic Ocean waters. To this end, we apply the methodology of Lagrangian descriptors, using the function M , to the velocity field dataset provided by the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service. We focus our analysis on the Arctic region in the halocline (top 30 meters depth), which is based on particular events occurring over the 2012-2016 time period. The
more » ... antage of the Lagrangian descriptor is that it highlights large-scale persistent dynamical structures related to mathematical objects known as invariant manifolds, which determine fluid transport and mixing processes. These geometrical flow structures play a crucial role in the evolution of the freshwater content observed over the Arctic basin. In this work, we identify these dynamical structures in the Beaufort Sea and show how they mediate transport processes according to a clockwise circulating pattern, related to the Beaufort Gyre (BG). Additionally, this approach highlights the Transpolar Drift Stream (TDS) as a transport barrier which maintains the salinity gradient between the Canadian basin and the Atlantic waters. Our approach also illustrates the variability of the intensity of the TDS during the analyzed period and identifies secondary currents that feed it. 13
doi:10.1002/qj.3404 fatcat:q7rxtfnshratdhlm6x7nwwdk7m