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The seasonal and interannual variability of the West Greenland current system in the Labrador Sea

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dc.contributor.advisor Fiammetta Straneo. en_US
dc.contributor.author Rykova, Tatiana A en_US
dc.contributor.other Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-cn-nf n-gl--- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-10-29T18:31:38Z
dc.date.available 2010-10-29T18:31:38Z
dc.date.issued 2010 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/59755
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Joint Program in Physical Oceanography (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), 2010. en_US
dc.description "June 2010." Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 151-159). en_US
dc.description.abstract The Labrador Sea, as one of a few places of deep water formation, plays an important role in the Meridional Overturning Circulation. While the interior of the Labrador Sea, where the deepest convection takes place, is known to experience variability on time scales ranging from days to decades, little is known about the variability of the other components of the Labrador Sea circulation - the boundary current system and the eddies that connect it with the interior. Using various types of in situ data combined with the surface flux and satellite altimetry data products, I studied the variability of both the boundary current system and the eddies on different time scales as well as their influence on the post-convective re-stratification of the Labrador Sea interior. The analysis presented in the thesis supports the result of the previous theoretical studies that argue that lateral fluxes, driven by the boundary current/interior gradients, play an important role in the post-convective restratification of the Labrador Sea. I found that both components of the boundary current, the surface West Greenland Current and the subsurface Irminger Current, have a strong seasonal cycle. In the spring both the West Greenland and Irminger Currents are colder and fresher than in the fall. However, the West Greenland Current is faster and thicker in the spring while the Irminger Current is the fastest and thickest in the fall. My analysis suggests that the observed seasonal changes in the velocity are primarily due to the baroclinic component of the current while the barotropic component remains nearly unchanged. The Subpolar Gyre, and the Labrador Sea in particular, have experienced a decline in the circulation accompanied by the warming of the water column over the last decades. I found that a similar trend is seen in the West Greenland Current system which slowed down from 1992 to 2004, primarily due to a decrease in the barotropic flow. At the same time, the subsurface Irminger Current has become warmer, saltier, and lighter, something that is also reflected in the properties of the eddies. Two years exhibited pronounced anomalies: in 1997 and 2003 the velocity, temperature and salinity of the Irminger Current abruptly increase with respect to the overall trend. Finally, I discuss the impacts of the boundary current changes on the lateral fluxes that are responsible for the restratification of the Labrador Sea and the properties of the interior. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Tatiana Rykova. en_US
dc.format.extent 159 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Joint Program in Physical Oceanography. en_US
dc.subject Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. en_US
dc.subject Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Hydrography Labrador Sea en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Ocean currents Labrador Sea en_US
dc.title The seasonal and interannual variability of the West Greenland current system in the Labrador Sea en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Joint Program in Physical Oceanography. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. en_US
dc.contributor.department Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 670445769 en_US


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