Articles | Volume 17, issue 5
Research article
05 Oct 2021
Research article |  | 05 Oct 2021

Role of air–sea fluxes and ocean surface density in the production of deep waters in the eastern subpolar gyre of the North Atlantic

Tillys Petit, M. Susan Lozier, Simon A. Josey, and Stuart A. Cunningham

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Cited articles

Brambilla, E. and Talley, L. D.: Subpolar mode water in the northeastern Atlantic: 1. Averaged properties and mean circulation, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 113, 1–16,, 2008. 
Brambilla, E., Talley, L. D., and Robbins, P. E.: Subpolar Mode Water in the northeastern Atlantic: 2. Origin and transformation, J. Geophys. Res., 113, C04026,, 2008. 
Bringedal, C., Eldevik, T., Skagseth, Ø., Spall, M. A., and Østerhus, S.: Structure and forcing of observed exchanges across the Greenland–Scotland Ridge, J. Climate, 31, 9881–9901,, 2018. 
Chafik, L. and Rossby, T.: Volume, Heat, and Freshwater Divergences in the Subpolar North Atlantic Suggest the Nordic Seas as Key to the State of the Meridional Overturning Circulation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46, 4799–4808,, 2019. 
de Boisséson, E., Thierry, V., Mercier, H., Caniaux, G., and Desbruyères, D.: Origin, formation and variability of the Subpolar Mode Water located over the Reykjanes Ridge, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 117, C12005,, 2012. 
Short summary
Recent work has highlighted the dominant role of the Irminger and Iceland basins in the production of North Atlantic Deep Water. From our analysis, we find that air–sea fluxes and the ocean surface density field are both key determinants of the buoyancy-driven transformation in the Iceland Basin. However, the spatial distribution of the subpolar mode water (SPMW) transformation is most sensitive to surface density changes as opposed to the direct influence of the air–sea fluxes.