Changes in temperature and tracer distributions within the Arctic Ocean: Results from the 1994 Arctic Ocean section

Citation:
Carmack, EC, Aagaard K, Swift JH, Macdonald RW, McLaughlin FA, Jones EP, Perkin RG, Smith JN, Ellis KM, Killius LR.  1997.  Changes in temperature and tracer distributions within the Arctic Ocean: Results from the 1994 Arctic Ocean section. Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography. 44:1487-+.

Keywords:

carbon, circulation, estuary, hexachlorocyclohexanes, i-129, mediterranean salt lens, seawater, southern canadian basin, transport, water masses

Abstract:

Major changes in temperature and tracer properties within the Arctic Ocean are evident in a comparison of data obtained during the 1994 Arctic Ocean Section to earlier measurements. (1) Anomalously warm and well-ventilated waters are now found in the Nansen, Amundsen and Makarov basins, with the largest temperature differences, as much as 1 degrees C, in the core of the Atlantic layer (200-400 m). This thermohaline transition appears to follow from two distinct mechanisms: narrow (order 100 km), topographically-steered cyclonic flows that rapidly carry new water around the perimeters of the basins; and multiple intrusions, 40-60 m thick, which extend laterally into the basin interiors. (2) Altered nutrient distributions that within the halocline distinguish water masses of Pacific and Atlantic origins likewise point to a basin-wide redistribution of properties. (3) Distributions of CFCs associated with inflows from adjacent shelf regions and from the Atlantic demonstrate recent ventilation to depths exceeding 1800 m. (4) Concentrations of the pesticide HCH in the surface and halocline layers are supersaturated with respect to present atmospheric concentrations and show that the ice-capped Arctic Ocean is now a source to the global atmosphere of this contaminant. (5) The radionuclide I-129 is now widespread throughout the Arctic Ocean. Although the current level of I-129 level poses no significant radiological threat, its rapid arrival and wide distribution illustrate the speed and extent to which waterborne contaminants are dispersed within the Arctic Ocean on pathways along which other contaminants can travel from western European or Russian sources. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Notes:

n/a

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DOI:

10.1016/s0967-0645(97)00056-8