Irminger Current; AMOC; North Atlantic; transport array; observations; convection
|Auteurs|| || Top |
- Bol, R.
- Kritsotalakis, S.
The Irminger Current (IC), flowing northeastward along the western flank of the Reykjanes Ridge, is an important component in the overturning of the North Atlantic subpolar gyre. A 2‐year (2014–2016) time series from moored observations shows that the IC consists of two highly variable current cores. A subsampling experiment, using an ocean reanalysis, showed that this current's variability is adequately captured by the array. The two current cores contribute nearly equally to the mean volume transport. The total 2‐year mean transport was found to be 10.6 Sv with a standard deviation of daily (monthly) values of 9.2 Sv (4.4 Sv) and a standard error of 1.4 Sv. Mean heat and freshwater transport were 0.21 PW and −22.5 mSv, respectively (Sref = 34.92). The volume transport is strongest in spring, and the average over the first year (8.6 Sv) was lower than that of the second year (12.4 Sv), coinciding with an increase in the density gradient over the array in the second year. The variability of the total transport is dominated by variations in the western core, while the warmer, saltier eastern core contributes more to the heat and (negative) freshwater transport. During the two observed winters, which were marked by exceptional deep convection in the central Irminger Sea, mixed layer deepening down to 400 m depth and outcropping of the 27.7 kg m3 isopycnal were observed within the IC.