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The ocean and sea ice in the Nares Strait

Till Rasmussen, Nicolai Kliem, Eigil Kaas
Danish Meteorological Institute
(Abstract received 12/21/2010 for session X)

A three dimensional coupled ocean (HYCOM) and sea ice model (CICE) is applied to a regional setup of the Lincoln Sea, the Nares Strait, and the Baffin Bay. As the sea ice model is originally developed for global simulations, boundary conditions have been implemented for the regional setup. The model results are compared with satellite images and with the large scale simulation that is specified for the boundary conditions. The Nares Strait is one of the main gateways of sea ice and fresh water from the Arctic. Observations show that the magnitude of the sea ice area flow through the Nares Strait varies from year to year. This is mainly due to the formation and the stability of an ice arch in the southern part of Kanes Basin which blocks the flow of sea ice through the strait. Just south of the ice arch is the location of the North Water, which is one of the largest polynyas in the world. Recent years has shown a large increase in the sea ice area flow through this strait due to the absence of the ice arch. This influences the opening of the North Water and thereby the conditions for the inhabitants of the area. This makes it important to be able to model the properties of the ocean and the sea ice. The main focus in this talk is on the simulated variations of the modeled sea ice flux and oceanic volume flux through the Nares Strait. Included in this is the coupled models ability to describe the ice bridge and the opening of the North Water.

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2011 LOM Workshop, Miami, Florida February 7 - 9, 2011