A Review of the Physical Oceanography of Fram Strait

  • Kenneth Hunkins
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 318)


Fram Strait is the broad and deep gap (width, 450 km; sill depth, 2700 m) separating Greenland and Spitsbergen. There is an exchange through it of cold, fresh Arctic waters and warm, saline Atlantic waters. Narrow coastal boundary currents on either side flowing in opposite directions are important elements of the exchange. Mesoscale eddies are abundant in this region but their part in transport through the strait is uncertain. This appears to be primarily a convective circulation driven by density differences between the Arctic Ocean and Greenland Sea with wind forcing playing a minor part. It is possible that atmospheric pressure gradients and tidal rectification also contribute to the exchange although their importance has not yet been demonstrated. There has been considerable success in describing the ice exchange with numerical models which incorporate a restricted ocean model. Laboratory experiments provide an alternative method which has proved useful in giving insight in to the relative roles of boundary currents and eddies in transport through wide straits.


Arctic Ocean Boundary Current Atlantic Water Baroclinic Instability Eurasian Basin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Hunkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia UniversityPalisadesUSA

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