Coastal freshening prevents fjord bottom water renewal in Northeast Greenland - a mooring study from 2003-2015

New publication by Wieter Boone, Søren Rysgaard, Daniel Frazier Carlson, Lorenz Meire, Sergei Kirillov, John Mortensen, Igor Dmitrenko, Leendert Vergeynst and Mikael Kristian Sejr

2018.03.12 | Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen


The freshwater content of the Arctic Ocean and its bordering seas has recently increased. Observing freshening events is an important step towards identifying the drivers and understanding the effects of freshening on ocean circulation and marine ecosystems. Here, we present a 13-year (2003-2015) record of temperature and salinity in Young Sound-Tyrolerfjord (74° N) in Northeast Greenland. Our observations show that strong freshening occurred from 2005 to 2007 (-0.92 psu; -0.46 psu y-1) and from 2009 to 2013 (-0.66 psu; -0.17 psu y-1). Furthermore, temperature-salinity analysis from 2004 to 2014 shows that freshening of the coastal water (~range at sill depth: 33.3 psu in 2005 to 31.4 psu in 2007) prevented renewal of the fjord's bottom water. These data provide critical observations of interannual freshening rates in a remote fjord in Greenland and in the adjacent coastal waters, and show that coastal freshening impacts the fjord hydrography, which may impact the ecosystem dynamics on long term.

Geophysical Research Letters (Online), 05.03.2018. DOI: 10.1002/2017GL076591

Arctic Research Centre