Please note: You are viewing the unstyled version of this website. Either your browser does not support CSS (cascading style sheets) or it has been disabled. Skip navigation.

Heat and Freshwater Through The Labrador Sea

   Print  PDF  Change text to small (default) Change text to medium Change text to large

The Labrador Sea of the North Atlantic is one of a handful of oceanic regions where 'deep' or 'intermediate' convection occurs - i.e. where the wintertime surface cooling results in convective mixing to depths of more than 1000 m. This results in the formation of Labrador Sea Water, a relatively fresh intermediate water which spreads at mid-depth throughout much of the N. Atlantic and that is part of the North Atlantic Deep Water.

We have used a variety of data sources and atmospheric products to investigate the transformation process and its variability. In particular, we focused on the period from 1969 to 1972 when convection in the Labrador Sea ceased due to a rapid freshening of the surface waters and, also, due to a series of mild winters.

  • Straneo, F., 2006: Heat and Freshwater Transport through the Central Labrador Sea. J. Phys. Ocean.,36(4), 606-628. (article)

  • Rykova,T.,F. Straneo, J. Lilly, I. Yashayaev, 2009:  Irminger Current Anticyclones in the Labrador Sea observed in the hydrographic record, 1990-2004 J. Mar. Res., 67, 361-384. (Article)

  • Gelderloos, F. Straneo and C. Katsman, 2011: Mechanisms behind the temporary shutdown of deep convection in the Labrador Sea: Lessons from the Great Salinity Anomaly years 1968-1971. J. Climate,under revision

Last updated: December 15, 2011

whoi logo

Copyright ©2007 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, All Rights Reserved, Privacy Policy.
Problems or questions about the site, please contact