Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2021-43
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2021-43

  25 May 2021

25 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

On the circulation, water mass distribution, and nutrient concentrations of the western Chukchi Sea

Jaclyn Clement Kinney1, Karen M. Assmann2,3, Wieslaw Maslowski1, Göran Björk2, Martin Jakobsson4, Sara Jutterström5, Younjoo J. Lee1, Robert Osinski6, Igor Semiletov7,8,9, Adam Ulfsbo2, Irene Wåhlström10, and Leif G. Anderson2 Jaclyn Clement Kinney et al.
  • 1Naval Postgraduate School, 833 Dyer Rd., Monterey, CA, 93943, USA
  • 2Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 3Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 6606 Langnes, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway
  • 4Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
  • 5IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Box 530 21, 400 14 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 6Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 81-712 Sopot, Poland
  • 7International Arctic Research Center, University Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
  • 8Pacific Oceanological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences Far Eastern Branch, Vladivostok 690041, Russia
  • 9The National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk, Russia
  • 10Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden

Abstract. Substantial amounts of nutrients and carbon enter the Arctic Ocean from the Pacific Ocean through Bering Strait, distributed over three main pathways. Water with low salinities and nutrient concentrations takes an eastern route along the Alaskan coast, as Alaskan Coastal Water. A central pathway exhibits intermediate salinity and nutrient concentrations, while the most nutrient-rich water enters Bering Strait on its western side. Towards the Arctic Ocean the flow of these water masses is subject to strong topographic steering within the Chukchi Sea with volume transports modulated by the wind field. In this contribution we use data from several sections crossing Herald Canyon collected in 2008 and 2014 together with numerical modeling to investigate the circulation and transport in the western part of the Chukchi Sea. We find that a substantial fraction of water from the Chukchi Sea enters the East Siberian Sea south of Wrangel Island and circulates in an anticyclonic direction around the island. This water then contributes to the high nutrient waters of Herald Canyon. The bottom of the canyon has the highest nutrient concentrations, likely as a result of addition from the degradation of organic matter at the sediment surface in the East Siberian Sea. The flux of nutrients (nitrate, phosphate, and silicate) and dissolved inorganic carbon in Bering Summer Water and Winter Water is computed by combining hydrographic and nutrient observations with geostrophic transports referenced to LADCP and surface drift data. Even if there are some general similarities between the years, there are differences in both the temperature-salinity and nutrient characteristics. To assess these differences, and also to get a wider temporal and spatial view, numerical modeling results are applied. According to model results, high frequency variability dominates the flow in Herald Canyon. This leads us to conclude that this region needs to be monitored over a longer time frame to deduce the temporal variability and potential trends.

Jaclyn Clement Kinney et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on os-2021-43', Rebecca Woodgate, 13 Jun 2021
  • RC1: 'Comment on os-2021-43', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Jun 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on os-2021-43', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Jun 2021

Jaclyn Clement Kinney et al.

Jaclyn Clement Kinney et al.

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Short summary
We use data crossing Herald Canyon in the Chukchi Sea collected in 2008 and 2014 together with numerical modeling to investigate the circulation in the western Chukchi Sea. A large fraction of water from the Chukchi Sea enters the East Siberian Sea south of Wrangel Island and circulates in an anticyclonic direction around the island. To assess the differences between years, we use numerical modelling results, which show that high frequency variability dominates the flow in Herald Canyon.