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Summertime circulation in the eastern Chukchi Sea

Gong, Donglai; Pickart, Robert S.

Deep sea research. Part 2. Topical studies in oceanography. Volume 118 (2015, August) Part A; pp 18-31 -- Elsevier

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  • Title:
    Summertime circulation in the eastern Chukchi Sea
  • Author: Gong, Donglai;
    Pickart, Robert S.
  • Found In: Deep sea research. Part 2. Topical studies in oceanography. Volume 118 (2015, August) Part A; pp 18-31
  • Journal Title: Deep sea research. Part 2. Topical studies in oceanography
  • Subjects: Marine biology--Periodicals; Ocean bottom--Periodicals; Oceanography--Periodicals; Pacific water transport--Chukchi Sea circulation--Barrow Canyon; Dewey: 551.46
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: Elsevier
  • Abstract: Abstract:

    The transport of Pacific-origin water across the eastern Chukchi Sea during summer is studied using shipboard hydrographic and Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler data from multiple surveys. The study identifies two major transport pathways in this region. The well-known Alaskan Coastal Current (ACC) flows poleward along the Alaska coast, while a more recently discovered and slower current flows northward through the Central Channel between Herald and Hanna Shoals. The two currents separate past Point Hope and appear to merge again in Barrow Canyon via previously unresolved pathways flowing west to east across the Chukchi Sea. The collective flow that transports Pacific water from Bering Strait to Barrow Canyon is termed the Bering to Barrow Current System (BBCS). The coastal branch of the BBCS, which encompasses the ACC, is a weakly baroclinic flow with a maximum speed in excess of 80 cm/s inside Barrow Canyon. The Central Channel branch of the BBCS is considerably weaker, with a maximum flow speed under 20 cm/s. A portion of the Pacific water that flows towards Herald Canyon to the west may also contribute to the BBCS, the amount, but the amount is within the margin of error of our data. The difference in the advective time scales of the various branches allows water masses of different seasonal characteristics to be transported simultaneously by the BBCS. Summer water masses occupy most of the southern and central Chukchi Sea while winter water masses occupy Hanna Shoal and shelfbreak regions in the northern Chukchi Sea during summer. The total BBCS volume transport in summer is measured at four different locations in the eastern Chukchi Sea and found to be generally consistent. The overall mean transport is 0.86 Sv, compared to the summer Bering Strait transport of 1.08 Sv. This study suggests that the BBCS is the main transport pathway delivering Pacific water masses into the western Arctic Basin.


  • Identifier: System Number: LDEAvdc_100069925071.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 0967-0645; 10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.02.006
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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