EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Cyclonic eddies in the West Greenland boundary current system

Astrid Pacini1, Robert S. Pickart1, Isabela A. Le Bras1, Fiammetta Straneo2, N. Penny Holliday3, and Michael A. Spall1
Astrid Pacini et al.
  • 1Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole, MA, United States of America
  • 2Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD; San Diego, CA, United States of America
  • 3National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK

The Labrador Sea is an important site for deep convection, and the boundary current surrounding the Sea impacts the strength of this convection and the subsequent restratification. As part of the Overturning of the Subpolar North Atlantic Program, ten moorings have been maintained on the West Greenland shelf and slope that provide hourly, high-resolution renderings of the boundary current. These data reveal the presence and propagation of abundant mid-depth intensified cyclonic eddies, which have not previously been documented in the West Greenland boundary current system. This study quantifies these features and their structure and demonstrates that they are the downstream manifestation of Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW) cyclones. Using the mooring data, the statistics of these features are presented, a composite eddy is constructed, and the velocity and transport structure are described. A synoptic survey of the region captured two of these features, and provides further insight into their structure and timing. This is the first time DSOW cyclones have been observed in the Labrador Sea, and their presence, propagation, and transport must be accounted for in order to assess their contribution to the heat and freshwater budgets of the Labrador Sea interior.

How to cite: Pacini, A., Pickart, R. S., Le Bras, I. A., Straneo, F., Holliday, N. P., and Spall, M. A.: Cyclonic eddies in the West Greenland boundary current system, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13295,, 2021.


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