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The effect of tides on dense water formation in Arctic shelf seas

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Miguel Morales MaquedaORCiD, Professor Andrew Willmott



Ocean tides are not explicitly included in many ocean general circulation models, which will therefore omit any interactions between tides and the cryosphere. We present model simulations of the wind and buoyancy driven circulation and tides of the Barents and Kara Seas, using a 25 km × 25 km 3-D ocean circulation model coupled to a dynamic and thermodynamic sea ice model. The modeled tidal amplitudes are compared with tide gauge data and sea ice extent is compared with satellite data. Including tides in the model is found to have little impact on overall sea ice extent but is found to delay freeze up and hasten the onset of melting in tidally active coastal regions. The impact that including tides in the model has on the salt budget is investigated and found to be regionally dependent. The vertically integrated salt budget is dominated by lateral advection. This increases significantly when tides are included in the model in the Pechora Sea and around Svalbard where tides are strong. Tides increase the salt flux from sea ice by 50% in the Pechora and White Seas but have little impact elsewhere. This study suggests that the interaction between ocean tides and sea ice should not be neglected when modeling the Arctic.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Postlethwaite CF, Morales Maqueda MA, le Fouest V, Tattersall GR, Holt J, Willmott AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ocean Science

Year: 2011

Volume: 7

Pages: 203-217

Print publication date: 24/03/2011

Date deposited: 29/07/2014

ISSN (print): 1812-0784

ISSN (electronic): 1812-0792

Publisher: Copernicus GmbH


DOI: 10.5194/os-7-203-2011


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