Recent changes in the freshwater composition east of Greenland Academic Article uri icon


  • Results from three hydrographic surveys across the East Greenland Current between 2011 and 2013 are presented with focus on the freshwater sources. End-member analysis using salinity, ?18O, and nutrient data shows that while meteoric water dominated the freshwater content, a significant amount of Pacific freshwater was present near Denmark Strait with a maximum in August 2013. While in 2011 and 2012 the net sea ice melt was dominated by brine, in 2013 it became close to zero. The amount of Pacific freshwater observed near Denmark Strait in 2013 is as large as the previous maximum in 1998. This, together with the decrease in meteoric water and brine, suggests a larger contribution from the Canadian Basin. We hypothesize that the increase of Pacific freshwater is the result of enhanced flux through Bering Strait and a shorter pathway of Pacific water through the interior Arctic to Fram Strait.

publication date

  • April 16, 2015