Shelf Sea Oceanography and Meteorology research groupresearprojectseventslinks

Comparative analysis of Water Mass Distribution and Circulation in semi-enclosed seas (White Sea & Irish Sea).

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Objectives:

The aim of the project is to get a better  knowledge of the mesoscale water mass structure of the White Sea.  Specific objectives are to  study fine thermohaline structure, mixing of water masses and tidal stirring in the Northen part of the White Sea.  The project will contrast and compare hydrology of two semi-enclosed seas: the White Sea and the Irish Sea.

Summary of results:

Fine thermohaline features and water mass formation were studied in summer 2000 and spring 2001 in the northern part of the White Sea.  The data analysis for temperature, salinity and density  revealed distinct signatures of step-like structures in the profiles, and indicated the characteristics of water masses. Five quasi-homogeneous layers and temperature inversions were identified with the average T/S indexes of (26psu;5°C), (27psu;2°C), (27.5psu;0.5° C), (28.2psu;-0.7°C), and (28.6psu;-1°C) for the summer period with either identical or rather small variation in thermohaline indexes within the layers.   Quasi-homogeneous layers  with a horizontal scale of 400km were identified in the northern White Sea from the Gorlo strait  to the Kandalaksha bay.  A possible cause is the strong vertical mixing due to the presence of a shallow 40m sill and strong tidal  current.

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