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Bering Strait volume, heat and salt fluxes

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M. Steele, R. Woodgate. W. Maslowski

This is a collaborative model-observational study of volume, heat, and freshwater fluxes through Bering Strait, an important arctic gateway.  This experiment focuses on this strait because of its physical importance for the Arctic Ocean ice and water dynamics and thermodynamics. A set of numerical experiments and model intercomparisons seeks to answer a series of important scientific questions, validate Arctic regional and global models using Bering Strait historical and recently collected data, and to recommend important model improvements allowing reproduction of the Bering Strait – related changes in the entire Arctic Ocean. The conditions of the desired model output from each participant/model, including (i) location, (ii) parameters, (iii) time period and resolution, and (iv) model description are discussed below.

This is a study of volume, heat, and freshwater fluxes through the Bering Strait, an important arctic gateway.  We focus on this strait because of (1) its physical importance and (2) the relatively abundant observational database in the area.  The following outlines the desired model output from each participant, including (i) location, (ii) parameters, (iii) time period & resolution, and (iv) model description. 

Location:  Your model section should be as close as possible to this section (in decimal degrees):

From: 65.980 degN,  169.643 degW
To:  65.625 degN,  168.177 degW

  • Please provide:
  • Model lat/lons for your section across the strait that most closely match these endpoints
  • Model bathymetry at each position

Also, (for comparison to the “climate” mooring site A3 just north of Bering Strait), the lat/lon and ocean depth of your model point nearest to 66.33 degN,  168.965 degW


Properties for comparison along the Strait and at mooring site A3:

  • Ocean temperature, salinity, and velocity at all points across your Bering Strait section (for example, for each time, an array of points in x and z (depth).
  • Ocean T, S, and v for the model point closest to mooring site A3 (see “Location” section)
  • Mean ice thickness, concentration, and velocity at all Bering Strait points

Fluxes for comparison:  (if you do not have these, we will compute them from the properties)

  • Net ocean volume flux across the strait
  • Net ocean heat flux - relative to -1.9°C
  • Net ocean freshwater flux – relative to reference salinity of 34.8
  • If possible, please also provide separate northward and southward fluxes for the above
  • Ice area flux and ice volume flux across your Bering Strait section


Time period & resolution:

  • Period:  As long as available but ideally covering at least 1990-present (the period of intensive observations)
  • Resolution: We encourage at least monthly mean resolution, although more frequent data will be considered if available.   We discourage the use of “snapshot” data.

Model description:

As in Holloway et al., “Water properties & circulation in Arctic Ocn models,” JGR vol 112, 2007:

  • Tables A1, A2, A3, A4, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, A14, A15, A16
  • what ocean and sea ice model was used
  • what forcing prescribed (including timescale of the forcing – hourly, monthly, etc)
  • any particular forcing/adjustments/tuning of the Bering Strait inflow (e.g., local or far field relaxing to a known transport or seasonal cycle or temperature and salinity field, bottom or sidewall friction, “digging out” of channel to give expected transport)

Last updated: June 7, 2011

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