The Arctic Front and its variability in the Norwegian Sea

Roshin P. Raj, Sourav Chatterjee, Laurent Bertino, Antonio Turiel, Marcos Portebella
2019 Ocean Science Discussions  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> The Arctic Front (AF) in the Norwegian Sea is an important biologically productive region which is well-known for its large feeding schools of pelagic fish. A suite of satellite data, a regional coupled ocean-sea ice data assimilation system (the TOPAZ reanalysis) and atmospheric reanalysis data is used to investigate the variability in the lateral and vertical structure of the AF. A method, the so-called <q>Singularity Analysis</q>, is applied on the satellite and
more » ... reanalysis data for 2D spatial analysis of the front, whereas for the vertical structure, a horizontal gradient method is used. We present new evidences of active air-sea interaction along the AF due to enhanced momentum mixing near the frontal region. The frontal structure of the AF is found to be most distinct near the Faroe Current in the southwest Norwegian Sea and along the Mohn Ridge. Coincidentally, these are the two locations along the AF where the air-sea interactions are most intense. This study investigates in particular the frontal structure along the Mohn Ridge and provides new insights on the influence of the three dominant modes of the Norwegian Sea atmospheric circulation on the AF along the Mohn Ridge. The analyses show a weakened AF during the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO-), even though the geographical location of the front does not vary. The weakening of AF during NAO- is attributed to the variability in the strength of the Norwegian Atlantic Front Current over the Mohn Ridge associated with the changes in the wind field.</p>
doi:10.5194/os-2018-159 fatcat:nfmlwviqmrcc3knuamgiborhaa