Ocean Sci. Discuss., 10, 985-1030, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in OS.
Frontal structures in the West Spitsbergen Current margins
W. Walczowski
Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences, Powstancow Warszawy 55 81-712 Sopot, Poland

Abstract. The structures of the hydrographic fronts separating the Atlantic origin waters from ambient waters in the northern Nordic Seas are discussed. Flows of the western and eastern branches of the West Spitsbergen Current create the Atlantic domain borders and maintain these fronts. The work is based on previous research and on investigations in the project DAMOCLES (Developing Arctic Modeling and Observational Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies). Most of the observational data were collected during the R/V Oceania cruises. The main focus of the paper is put on the western border of the Atlantic domain – the Arctic Front, along- and transfrontal transports, the front instability and variability. The baroclinic instability and advection of baroclinic eddies which occurs due to this instability were found as the main transfrontal transport processes. Most of the Atlantic Water transported by the western branch recirculates west and southward. The eastern branch of the West Spitsbergen Current provides most of the Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean. Both processes are very important for the Arctic and global Thermohaline Circulation.

Citation: Walczowski, W.: Frontal structures in the West Spitsbergen Current margins, Ocean Sci. Discuss., 10, 985-1030, doi:10.5194/osd-10-985-2013, 2013.
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