Dynamics of the Deep Arctic Ocean
While the relatively isolated deepest waters of the Arctic Ocean show less variability than the intermediate waters, the evolution of deep heat and salt are important to understanding the past and present state of the Arctic climate system. Since 2007, moored measurements from the deepest waters in the Arctic Ocean’s Beaufort Gyre have provided fascinating insight into the dynamics and evolution of these remote waters. This research is aimed at understanding mixing processes, variability and waves in the deep water, and how changes in the shallow and intermediate Arctic waters are manifest in the deep ocean.
Eddies in the Arctic Ocean
Eddies are ubiquitous in the Arctic Ocean, representing a potentially important source of mixing in the ocean, and having implications for the lateral transport of heat, salt, and other water property anomalies. In this research, measurements from Ice-Tethered Profilers as well as CTD and mooring measurements are analyzed to examine eddy formation mechanisms, lifetimes, and their impact on ocean vertical heat transport.
Ocean mixing mechanisms and the evolution of heat and salt in the Arctic Ocean
One significant recent change to occur in the Arctic Ocean has been a warming of the Pacific- and Atlantic-derived waters that lie beneath the surface mixed layer. This is of consequence to ice cover where it is possible for the heat to be transported to the surface. Vertical transport of heat is presently inhibited by the strong Arctic halocline. Measurements from Ice-Tethered Profilers and moorings are used to investigate where and how heat and salt are transported in the Arctic Ocean.
The role of horizontal buoyancy gradients in the surface mixed layer of the Arctic Ocean
The only direct ocean impact on sea-ice cover is via the surface ocean mixed layer. Arctic Ocean surface properties are traditionally thought to be set primarily by vertical processes, however recent analyses indicate that the surface layer is also strongly influenced by lateral flows, important for regulating the interaction between the ocean and sea ice. This research investigates the physics of small-scale flows in the Arctic mixed layer beneath the sea-ice cover.
Mixing and circulation in the Arctic Ocean’s Beaufort Gyre
The Beaufort Gyre is one of the main ice-ocean circulation systems in the Arctic, and the major reservoir of fresh water stored in the Arctic Ocean. This investigation is an analysis of observational data and numerical model output to examine conditions, mechanisms and variability of fresh water accumulation in the Beaufort Gyre and its release beyond the Beaufort Gyre region. The research examines the sensitivity of these processes to atmospheric and ocean circulation regimes, ocean mixing, changes in fresh water sources (rivers, precipitation, ocean straits), and to sea ice and atmospheric thermodynamic conditions.