Articles | Volume 14, issue 4
Research article
 | Highlight paper
27 Aug 2018
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 27 Aug 2018

Overflow of cold water across the Iceland–Faroe Ridge through the Western Valley

Bogi Hansen, Karin Margretha Húsgarð Larsen, Steffen Malskær Olsen, Detlef Quadfasel, Kerstin Jochumsen, and Svein Østerhus

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Cited articles

Beaird, N. L., Rhines, P. B., and Eriksen, C. C.: Overflow waters at the Iceland-Faroe Ridge observed in multiyear Seaglider surveys, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 43, 2334–2351,, 2013. 
Beaird, N. L., Rhines, P. B., and Eriksen, C. C.: Observations of seasonal subduction at the Iceland-Faroe Front, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 121, 4026–4040,, 2016. 
Dickson, R. R. and Brown, J.: The production of North Atlantic deep water, sources, rates, and pathways, J. Geophys. Res., 99, 12319–12341,, 1994. 
ENVOFAR: ADCP data from the field experiment, Environmental data on terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the Faroe Islands, available at:, last access: 15 August 2018. 
Hansen, B. and Østerhus, S.: North Atlantic–Nordic Seas exchanges, Prog. Oceanogr., 45, 109–208, 2000. 
Short summary
The Western Valley is one of the passages across the Iceland–Scotland Ridge through which a strong overflow of cold, dense water has been thought to feed the deep limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), but its strength has not been known. Based on a field experiment with instruments moored across the valley, we show that this overflow branch is much weaker than previously thought and that this is because it is suppressed by the warm countercurrent in the upper layers.