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Upwelling of Atlantic water in Barrow Canyon, Chukchi Sea

Li, S., Lin, P., Dou, T., Xiao, C., Itoh, M., Kikuchi, T., & Qin, D., 2022. Upwelling of Atlantic water in Barrow Canyon, Chukchi Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 127(3), e2021JC017839.


Image provided by Peigen Lin.

Using long-term moorings data together with wind and sea ice measurements, we document the characteristics and variations of upwelling in Barrow Canyon and investigate the upwelled Atlantic Water (AW) on the Chukchi Sea shelf and how it impacts the ice cover. Over the 12-year mooring record at the mouth of Barrow Canyon, roughly 10% of the upwelling events can drive AW onto the Chukchi Sea shelf. In the ice-covered period, these two types of upwelling have different consequences for forming polynyas on the shelf. Under similar wind forcing, the ice reduction appears confined in the coastal region in the non-AW upwelling events (left column), while during AW upwelling events (right column), the sea ice declines dramatically in the shelf interior with 15% more ice loss. It elucidates that the heat carried by the upwelled AW plays a considerable role in modulating the ice cover in the shelf interior.