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Mooring-Based Observations of Double-Diffusive Staircases over the Laptev Sea Slope

Polyakov, I.V. and Pnyushkov, A.V. and Rember, R. and Ivanov, V.V. and Lenn, Y.-D. and Padman, L. and Carmack, E.C. (2012) Mooring-Based Observations of Double-Diffusive Staircases over the Laptev Sea Slope. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 42 ((1)). pp. 95-109. DOI: 10.1175/2011JPO4606.1

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Abstract

A yearlong time series from mooring-based high-resolution profiles of water temperature and salinity from the Laptev Sea slope (2003�04; 2686-m depth; 78°26�N, 125°37�E) shows six remarkably persistent staircase layers in the depth range of ~140�350 m encompassing the upper Atlantic Water (AW) and lower halocline. Despite frequent displacement of isopycnal surfaces by internal waves and eddies and two strong AW warming pulses that passed through the mooring location in February and late August 2004, the layers preserved their properties. Using laboratory-derived flux laws for diffusive convection, the authors estimate the time-averaged diapycnal heat fluxes across the four shallower layers overlying the AW core to be ~8 W m�2. Temporal variability of these fluxes is strong, with standard deviations of ~3�7 W m�2. These fluxes provide a means for effective transfer of AW heat upward over more than a 100-m depth range toward the upper halocline. These findings suggest that double diffusion is an important mechanism influencing the oceanic heat fluxes that help determine the state of Arctic sea ice.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Natural Sciences > School of Ocean Sciences
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 16:57
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 03:17
ISSN: 0022-3670
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/1595
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1175/2011JPO4606.1
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