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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-159
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-159
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 22 Jan 2019

Submitted as: research article | 22 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

The Arctic Front and its variability in the Norwegian Sea

Roshin P. Raj1, Sourav Chatterjee2, Laurent Bertino1, Antonio Turiel3, and Marcos Portebella3 Roshin P. Raj et al.
  • 1Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Thormøhlens gate 47, Bergen, Norway
  • 2National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Goa, India
  • 3Barcelona Expert Centre, Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain

Abstract. The Arctic Front (AF) in the Norwegian Sea is an important biologically productive region which is well-known for its large feeding schools of pelagic fish. A suite of satellite data, a regional coupled ocean-sea ice data assimilation system (the TOPAZ reanalysis) and atmospheric reanalysis data is used to investigate the variability in the lateral and vertical structure of the AF. A method, the so-called Singularity Analysis, is applied on the satellite and reanalysis data for 2D spatial analysis of the front, whereas for the vertical structure, a horizontal gradient method is used. We present new evidences of active air-sea interaction along the AF due to enhanced momentum mixing near the frontal region. The frontal structure of the AF is found to be most distinct near the Faroe Current in the southwest Norwegian Sea and along the Mohn Ridge. Coincidentally, these are the two locations along the AF where the air-sea interactions are most intense. This study investigates in particular the frontal structure along the Mohn Ridge and provides new insights on the influence of the three dominant modes of the Norwegian Sea atmospheric circulation on the AF along the Mohn Ridge. The analyses show a weakened AF during the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO-), even though the geographical location of the front does not vary. The weakening of AF during NAO- is attributed to the variability in the strength of the Norwegian Atlantic Front Current over the Mohn Ridge associated with the changes in the wind field.

Roshin P. Raj et al.
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Roshin P. Raj et al.
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Short summary
In this study we investigated the variability of the Arctic Front (AF), an important biologically productive region in the Norwegian Sea, using a suite of satellite data, atmospheric reanalysis and a regional coupled ocean-sea ice data assimilation system. We show evidences of the two-way interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean at the AF. The North Atlantic Oscillation is found to influence the strength of the AF and may have a profound influence on the region’s biological productivity.
In this study we investigated the variability of the Arctic Front (AF), an important...
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