Skip to main content



Explore more of Isaaffik

Collaborative Research: Upper ocean heat flux in the Eurasian Basin: Oceanic thermodynamic forcing contributing to Arctic ice loss


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Ocean & fiord systems
Project topic
Computer science & e-learning

Project details

Science / project summary

Funds are provided to develop understanding of the mechanisms and magnitude of heat transport upward from the Atlantic Water (AW) in the eastern (>30oE) Eurasian Basin (EB), to the point where accurate projections can be made for varying lateral input of AW under different scenarios of large-scale climate variability. Specific objectives are: O1. To evaluate and improve parameterizations of heat and salt fluxes due to double-diffusive convection (DDC) including the sensitivity of DDC heat fluxes to added velocity shear (e.g., mean flow, tides); O2. To map the spatial distribution of DDC parameters using all available eastern Arctic microstructure, Ice-Tethered Profiler (ITP) and Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) data for 2007 and 2009; O3. To estimate the spatial distribution of velocity shear using a 3D baroclinic, coupled ocean/sea-ice model including tide forcing; O4. To evaluate the relative roles of turbulent mixing and DDC processes in shaping EB upward fluxes; O5. To estimate impact of DDC and feedbacks with stratification and shear on the hydrographic structure of the EB (via modeling); and O6. To estimate the lateral intrusive heat fluxes, assessing their role in ventilating the ocean interior. The PIs will use advanced analyses of a suite of existing hydrographic data with fine vertical resolution microstructure, CTD, ITP and MacLane moored profilers taking advantage of the unique EB dataset collected over the recent decade by the international community. A high-resolution 3D regional ocean model with active sea ice will be used to quantify upper ocean shear from mean flow, eddies and tides, and provide a tool for investigating sensitivity of modeled fluxes to parameterizations of DDC, shear-induced turbulence, and DDC/shear coupling.