EGU21-6112, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Export of newly oxygenated Labrador Sea Water at 53N

Jannes Koelling1, Dariia Atamanchuk1, Johannes Karstensen2, and Douglas W.R. Wallace1
Jannes Koelling et al.
  • 1Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Canada
  • 2GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany

Most of the life-sustaining oxygen found in the global deep ocean is supplied in one of only a handful of key regions around the globe, such as the Labrador Sea in the subpolar North Atlantic. Here, oxygen is supplied directly to the deep ocean during the formation of Labrador Sea Water (LSW), when convective mixing continuously brings low-oxygen deep water towards the surface and into contact with the atmosphere. The continuous exchange between the surface and deep ocean during convection can bring newly oxygenated waters as deep as 2000m. Although the associated oxygen uptake has been observed and quantified, and the resulting oxygen-rich water mass in the deep ocean is readily detected throughout the Atlantic Ocean, relatively little is known about the exact mechanisms and timing of its export out of the basin.

In this talk, we will present a novel dataset of oxygen sensors deployed within the boundary current at the exit of the Labrador Sea to investigate oxygen variability in the deep ocean. This is the first time that a continuous time series of oxygen has been collected in the boundary current of the Labrador Sea, with a total of 10 sensors deployed on 4 moorings from 2016 to 2020. The sensors at 600m depth show a sudden change in oxygen, temperature, and salinity in the spring, which we discuss in relation to deep convection in the interior. We also use data from Argo floats to analyse export pathways from the convection region to the location of the moorings. Our results give new insights into how the oxygen taken up in the central Labrador Sea subsequently spreads into the global deep ocean, and lay the basis for future work on quantifying variability of oxygen transport at the exit of the Labrador Sea.

How to cite: Koelling, J., Atamanchuk, D., Karstensen, J., and Wallace, D. W. R.: Export of newly oxygenated Labrador Sea Water at 53N, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6112,, 2021.

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