Measured volume, heat, and salt fluxes from the Atlantic to the Arctic Mediterranean
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The flow of warm and saline Atlantic water towards the Arctic crosses the Greenland-Scotland Ridge in three current branches. Since the mid 1990's, extensive monitoring with quasi-permanent moorings and regular CTD cruises has been in operation on three sections crossing the branches. Averaged over the years 1999 to 2001, values of volume, heat (relative to 0°C) and salt flux due to the total Atlantic inflow across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge into the Nordic Seas are estimated as 8.5 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3·s−1), 313·1012 W, and 303·106 kg·s−1. In this period, the average temperature and salinity of the Atlantic inflow were 8.5°C and 35.25, respectively. Within the observational uncertainty, we do not find any significant seasonal variation of the volume flux, but a negative correlation between the inflow flux through the Faroe-Shetland Channel and through the other two gaps was indicated.