Moored observations of bottom-intensified motions in the deep Canada Basin, Arctic Ocean Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • In the deep Canada Basin, below the sill depth (about 2400 m) of the Alpha-Mendeleyev Ridge, potential temperature and salinity first increase with depth, then remain uniform from about 2600 m to the bottom (approximately 3500 m). Year-long moored measurements of temperature, salinity and pressure in these deep and homogeneous bottom waters reveal significant vertical excursions with periods of about 50 days. The observed isopycnal displacements have amplitudes up to 100 m at the top boundary of the bottom layer; moored profiler measurements in the intermediate water column indicate that the amplitudes of these vertical displacements decay toward the surface over a scale of about 1000 m. The subinertial excursions are consistent with a bottom-trapped topographic Rossby wave. Given the magnitude of the bottom slope in the vicinity of the mooring, the observed vertical velocities correspond to only weak (about 1 cm s?1) cross-slope horizontal velocities. The generation mechanism for the waves remains an open question.

publication date

  • May 1, 2010