Currents in Long Strait, Arctic Ocean

  • L.K. Coachman
  • D.A. Rankin
Keywords: Athapascan Indians, Subsistence, Kuskokwim River region, Alaska


Reports and discusses current measurements made Aug 1966 from USS Burton Island (AGB-1) in the strait which separates Vrangelya Island from the Siberian mainland. A significant tidal oscillation of the currents is caused by the semidiurnal tide wave of the Arctic Ocean, propagating eastward through the strait. The oscillation varies in amplitude with the semimonthly tidal inequality. The long-term mean flow through the channel appears to be controlled by continuity requirements of the Chukchi Sea - East Siberian Sea systems as it responds to the regional winds. When regional atmospheric pressure gradients dictate winds E of Vrangelya and/or northerly-southerly winds to the west, the flow is west-bound through the strait, and vice versa. The surface layer and ice field respond more directly to local winds.