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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2017-68
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Review article
30 Aug 2017
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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).
Short Commentary on Marine Productivity at Arctic Shelf Breaks: Upwelling, Advection and Vertical Mixing
Achim Randelhoff and Arild Sundfjord Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway
Abstract. The future of Arctic marine ecosystems has received increasing attention in recent years as the extent of the sea ice cover is dwindling. Although the Pacific and Atlantic inflows both import huge quantities of nutrients and plankton, they feed into the Arctic Ocean in quite diverse regions. The strongly stratified Pacific sector has a historically heavy ice cover, a shallow shelf and dominant upwelling-favourable winds, while the Atlantic sector is weakly stratified, with a dynamic ice edge and a complex bathymetry. We argue that shelf break upwelling is likely not a universal but rather a regional, albeit recurring feature of the new Arctic. Instead, it is the regional oceanography that decides its importance through a range of diverse factors such as stratification, bathymetry and wind forcing. Teasing apart their individual contributions in different regions can only be achieved by spatially resolved timeseries and dedicated modelling efforts. The Northern Barents Sea shelf is an example of a region where shelf break upwelling likely does not play a dominant role, in contrast to the shallower shelves north of Alaska, where ample evidence for its importance has already accumulated.

Citation: Randelhoff, A. and Sundfjord, A.: Short Commentary on Marine Productivity at Arctic Shelf Breaks: Upwelling, Advection and Vertical Mixing, Ocean Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2017-68, in review, 2017.
Achim Randelhoff and Arild Sundfjord
Achim Randelhoff and Arild Sundfjord
Achim Randelhoff and Arild Sundfjord

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Short summary
The future of Arctic marine ecosystems has received increasing attention in recent years as the extent of the sea ice cover is dwindling. Regional differences in the hydrography, bathymetry and atmospheric forcing of nutrient fluxes essential for phytoplankton growth mean that wind-driven mixing, advection and upwelling will influence the polar ecosystem in differing magnitudes in different regions of the Arctic Ocean, with particular effects likely being restricted to specific areas.
The future of Arctic marine ecosystems has received increasing attention in recent years as...
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