The near surface hydrography beneath the Odden ice tongue

Brandon, M. A. and Wadhams, P. (1999). The near surface hydrography beneath the Odden ice tongue. Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 46(6-7) pp. 1301–1318.



As part of the European Subpolar Ocean Programme (ESOP), the German research icebreaker Polarstern worked in the Greenland Sea in the late winter of 1993. Whilst on passage, the ship encountered a severe winter storm with winds consistently above 20 m s(-1) coupled to air temperatures of below - 10 degrees C. The underway sensors revealed heat fluxes of greater than 700 W m(-2) across most of the Nordic Basin, peaking at greater than 1200 W m(-2) when the ship crossed the cold, fresh water of the Jan Mayen Current. This large heat flux coupled to the unique hydrographic conditions present in the Jan Mayen Current allowed sea-ice generation in the form of frazil ice at a rate of 28 cm d(-1). This frazil ice then developed into pancake ice. Measurements also were made in the late winter beneath this pancake ice in two remnants of the Odden. In the Jan Mayen Current, hydrographic conditions are such that the ice can exist for a long period of time before eventually decaying due to short-wave radiation at the surface. Towards the centre of the Greenland Sea, hydrographic measurements reveal that the ice is more transient and decays four times more rapidly than ice in the Jan Mayen Current. We discuss the development of the Odden ice tongue in light of these results and add evidence to the argument that the eventual fate of the water stored in the ice is important and could be a relevant factor in the formation of Greenland Sea Deep Water. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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