Freshwater transport between the Kara, Laptev, and East-Siberian seas

A. A. Osadchiev, M. N. Pisareva, E. A. Spivak, S. A. Shchuka, I. P. Semiletov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Kara and Laptev seas receive about one half of total freshwater runoff to the Arctic Ocean from the Ob, Yenisei, and Lena rivers. Discharges of these large rivers form freshened surface water masses over wide areas in these seas. These water masses, i.e., the Ob-Yenisei and Lena river plumes, generate an eastward buoyancy boundary current that accounts for the large-scale zonal freshwater transport along the Siberian part in the Arctic Ocean. In this study we investigate spreading of the Ob-Yenisei plume from the Kara Sea to the Laptev Sea through the Vilkitsky Strait and of the Lena plume from the Laptev Sea to the East-Siberian Sea through the Laptev and Sannikov straits during ice-free season. Large horizontal density gradient between freshened plume water and salty ambient sea water is the main driver of these processes, however, their intensity strongly depends on local wind forcing. The Ob-Yenisei plume is spreading to the Laptev Sea in a narrow alongshore current which is induced by strong and long-term southwesterly winds. Under other wind forcing the plume does not reach the Vilkitsky Strait. The Lena plume is almost constantly spreading to the East-Siberian Sea as a large-scale surface water mass which intensity is governed by eastward Ekman transport and is prone to large synoptic variability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13041
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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