Oceanographic moorings and conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) surveys from September 2009 to September 2010 are used to describe recent changes in the Laptev Sea hydrography and to highlight wind- and ice-driven surface Ekman transport as the mechanism to translate these changes from the outer- to the inner-shelf bottom waters. In February 2010, moored oceanographic instruments recorded a sudden increase in temperature (+0.8�C) and salinity (+ >3) near the bottom of the inner Laptev Sea shelf. Such warm and saline waters had not been previously observed on the inner shelf in winter. They likely originated from the basin and were first observed during a summer 2009 CTD survey in the northwestern shelf break region, subsequently spreading east and shoreward across the Laptev Sea shelf. The changes were introduced to the mooring site by the first of a series of bottom-intensified flow events with velocities reaching 20 cm s�1, topographically guided along a relic submarine river valley. Each of the flow events coincided with negative pressure anomalies at the mooring site and offshore-directed (upwelling-favorable) winds and ice drift. We suggest that the observations to first order resemble a simplified two-dimensional two-layered ocean, where offshore surface Ekman transport is compensated for by a barotropic shoreward response flow near the bottom. In this paper, we use one of the first comprehensive long-term Laptev Sea datasets to highlight ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions in early and late winter and discuss the role of freshwater, stratification, and ice mobility on under-ice circulation on the Laptev Sea shelf.
AWI Organizations > Climate Sciences > Sea Ice Physics