Measuring the Freshwater
Flux Through Hudson Strait
Freshwater in the North Atlantic
Freshwater is a key player in our
system and small changes in the
freshwater budget of the oceans can potentially induce large changes in
climate. This is because freshwater is much lighter than seawater and
has the potential of dramatically increasing the ocean's vertical
Changes in the freshwater flowing into the North Atlantic have been
identified as one of the potential triggers for changes in the
overturning circulation and in the poleward heat transport.
There are three main sources of freshwater into the North Atlantic:
Strait (east of Greenland), Davis Strait (west of Greenland) and Hudson
Of these, the first two are major pathways connecting the fresher,
Arctic Ocean with the North Atlantic, while Hudson Strait accumulates a
riverine input from the North American continent, formation of sea-ice
the entire Hudson Bay/Foxe Basin system and a small contribution from
Arctic via Hecla and Fury Strait. A large international program, ASOF, is underway to quantify and
monitor the exchange between the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
Freshwater from Hudson Strait
and Davis Straits, Hudson Strait is the third largest input of
freshwater into the Labrador Sea (and hence the North Atlantic).
Freshwater sources for this region include a large riverine input (900 cubed kilometres per year), seasonal
sea-ice formation over the large inland sea that is composed of Hudson Bay, James Bay and Foxe Basin (>1
million square km), plus a contribution from the Arctic via Fury and
My research in Hudson Strait has been aimed at measuring
the freshwater flow out of Hudson Strait and investigating what controls its seasonal
to interannual variability.
Presentations and Posters
- How do changes in
river input and sea ice affect the Hudson Strait outflow?
D. Sutherland, F.Straneo, S. Dery and K. Drinkwater.
AGU 2008 Poster
controls the dispersion of riverine freshwater in Hudson
Bay during the summer? P. St-Laurent, F.Straneo,
J.F. Dumais, D.G. Barber, ArcticNet 2008 Poster.
- Does Warming of the
North Atlantic over the Last Decade Explain the Acceleration
of Outlet Glaciers in Southeast Greenland?
Straneo, F., D. Sutherland, G.S. Hamilton, R. G. Curry,
L. A. Stearns, AGU FALL 2008 Poster.
- The outflow from Hudson
Strait and its contribution to the Labrador Current. F.
Straneo and F. Saucier, Deep Sea Res. I, 55, 926-946.
- The Arctic-Sub Arctic
Exchange through Hudson Strait. F.Straneo and
F. Saucier, Arctic-Subarctic Ocean Fluxes: Defining the role
of the Northern Seas in Climate: Eds. R. Dickson, J. Meincke,
P. Rhines, Springer_Verlag, NY, pp740.
- Observations of fresh,
anticyclonic eddies in the Hudson Strait outflow. D. Sutherland,
F. Straneo, S. Lentz, P. St. Laurent, 2010, J. Mar. Sys. submitted
- Variability and trends in streamflow output into Hudson Bay.
Dery, S.J., Mlynowski, T.J., Hernandez-Henriquez, M.A., F. Straneo, 2010,
J. Mar. Sys. submitted
- What is the fate of the river waters of Hudson Bay?
St. Laurent,F. Straneo, J.F. Dumais, D.G. Barber, 2010,
J. Mar. Sys. submitted
project is supported by the National Science Foundation Ocean
Sciences Division and by WHOI's Ocean and Climate Change Institute.