Polynyas and Tidal Currents in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

  • Charles G. Hannah
  • Frédéric Dupont
  • Michael Dunphy
Keywords: Canadian Arctic Archipelago, polynyas, tidal currents, tidal mixing, tidal mixing fronts


A tidal model of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago was used to map the strength of the tidal currents, tidal mixing (h/U3), and the vertical excursion associated with the tidal currents that drive water upslope and downslope. The hot spots in these quantities correspond to the location of many of the small polynyas in the archipelago, supporting the idea that the tidal currents make an important contribution to the dynamics of many of these recurring polynyas. The potential link with tidal mixing means that these locations may have enhanced plankton production in the summer.