Sources and Distribution of Fresh Water Around Cape Farewell in 2014

sinhue.torres-valdes [ at ]


We investigate the origin of fresh water on the shelves near Cape Farewell (south Greenland) using sections of three hydrographic cruises in May (HUD2014007) and June 2014 (JR302 and Geovide). We partition the fresh water between meteoric water sources and sea ice melt or brine formation using the δ18O of sea water. The sections illustrate the presence of the East Greenland Coastal Current (EGCC) close to shore east of Cape Farewell. West of Cape Farewell, it partially joins the shelf break, with a weaker near‐surface remnant of the EGCC observed on the shelf southwest and west of Cape Farewell. The EGCC traps the freshest waters close to Greenland and carries a brine signature below 50‐m depth. The cruises illustrate a strong increase in meteoric water of the shelf upper layer (by more than a factor 2) between early May and late June, likely to result from East and South Greenland spring melt. There was also a contribution of sea ice melt near the surface but with large variability both spatially and also between the two June cruises. Furthermore, gradients in the freshwater distribution and its contributions are larger east of Cape Farewell than west of Cape Farewell, which is related to the EGCC being more intense and closer to the coast east of Cape Farewell than west of it. Large temporal variability in the currents is found between different sections to the east and southeast of Cape Farewell, likely related to changes in wind conditions.

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DOI 10.1029/2019JC015080

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Benetti, M. , Reverdin, G. , Clarke, J. S. , Tynan, E. , Holliday, N. P. , Torres‐Valdes, S. , Lherminier, P. and Yashayaev, I. (2019): Sources and Distribution of Fresh Water Around Cape Farewell in 2014 , Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124 (12), pp. 9404-9416 . doi: 10.1029/2019JC015080

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