Structure and heat content of the West Spitsbergen Current
AbstractThe seasonal evolution of the hydrographic structure of the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC) above bottom depths from 300 m to 800 m is discussed based on a modern data set with high spatial resolution. The WSC appears to have a core with high temperature and salinity, linked to the topography in this depth interval, with a width on the order of 10 km. Strong cooling occurs in the autumn, reducing the heat content of the upper 200 m, but advected temperature and salinity maxima survive close to the surface in spring when air-sea exchange and vertical mixing is hampered by sea ice and meltwater.
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