Variability in the East Greenland Current

Holfort, J.; Meincke, J.; Mortensen, J.

EGS - AGU - EUG Joint Assembly, Nice, France, 6 - 11 April 2003.

The East Greenland Current (EGC) carries different water masses along the eastern coast of Greenland to the south. Denmark Strait overflow water (DSOW) is a mixture of these southward flowing water masses. The Polar Water part (liquid and ice) is the main oceanic fresh water source for the North Atlantic. Changes in the composition of the EGC can therefore have considerable impact also on the larger scale (e.g. the global thermohaline circulation). We will give a picture of the variability of the water mass characteristics of the EGC based on oceanic data and discuss possible effect onto the DSOW. For the shorter term variability the main data sources are recent hydrographic data; and temperature, salinity and current data from a mooring array across the EGC at 75°N. The mooring data spans 2 years (9/2000-9/2002) for deep bottom part and 1 year (9/2001-9/2002) for the upper water column. For longer term (>2 years) variability the main source are historical and recent hydrografic data.