Fresh-Water Fluxes via Pacific and Arctic Outflows Across the Canadian Polar Shelf

  • Humfrey Melling
  • Tom A. Agnew
  • Kelly K. Falkner
  • David A. Greenberg
  • Craig M. Lee
  • Andreas Münchow
  • Brian Petrie
  • Simon J. Prinsenberg
  • Roger M. Samelson
  • Rebecca A. Woodgate

Observations have revealed persistent flows of relatively low salinity from the Pacific to the Arctic and from the Arctic to the Atlantic (Melling 2000). It is customary to associate fluxes of fresh-water with these flows of brine, as follows: the fresh-water flux is the volume of fresh water that must be combined with a volume of reference-salinity water to yield the volume of seawater of the salinity observed. As with sensible heat flux, the choice of reference is arbitrary, but the value 34.8 is often used in discussions of the Arctic. This value is an estimate of the mean salinity of the Arctic Ocean by Aagaard and Carmack (1989) for a time period and averaging domain that were not specified. Because the salinity of seawater flowing across the shallow Bering, Chukchi and Canadian Polar shelves is typically lower than 34.8, these flows transport fresh-water from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Humfrey Melling
    • 1
  • Tom A. Agnew
    • 2
  • Kelly K. Falkner
    • 3
  • David A. Greenberg
    • 4
  • Craig M. Lee
    • 5
  • Andreas Münchow
    • 6
  • Brian Petrie
    • 4
  • Simon J. Prinsenberg
    • 4
  • Roger M. Samelson
    • 3
  • Rebecca A. Woodgate
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Ocean ScienceFisheries and Oceans CanadaCanada
  2. 2.Environment CanadaMeteorological Service of CanadaDownsviewCanada
  3. 3.College of Ocean and Atmospheric ScienceOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  4. 4.Bedford Institute of OceanographyFisheries and Oceans CanadaCanada
  5. 5.Applied Physics LaboratoryUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  6. 6.College of Marine StudiesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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