An Annual Cycle of Atmosphere-Ice-Ocean Interactions using Autonomous Gliders and Moorings

PI: Craig Lee, Luc Rainville and Jason Gobat
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research ()
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Ice cover strongly modulates how atmospheric forcing imprints onto Arctic Ocean stratification and circulation. Differences in sea ice properties, including strength, mobility, open water fraction and bottom roughness, likely impact the transfer of momentum and buoyancy from atmosphere to ocean. Upper ocean vertical and horizontal structures also modulate the communication of atmospheric/ice forcing into the ocean interior. Year-round under-ice surveys conducted by Seagliders, combined with high‐resolution time series provided by three heavily-instrumented moorings, will be used to investigate the fate of atmospheric momentum and buoyancy input to the ice-ocean system. This unique set of observations will focus on the upper 200 m to quantify the dynamics governing mixed layer evolution, most of the internal wave spectrum, and mesoscale/submesoscale variability in the central Canada Basin. By siting in a region that experiences seasonal ice cover and persisting through an entire annual cycle, the proposed observing system will capture the interplay between atmosphere, ice and ocean over a broad range of atmospheric forcing and ice conditions. This provides the dynamic range required to advance our understanding of momentum and buoyancy transfer into the Arctic Ocean.

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