The East Greenland Current North of Denmark Strait: Part II


  • K. Aagaard
  • L.K. Coachman



Ocean currents, Water masses, Spatial distribution, Velocity, Oceanography, Sea ice, Greenland Sea, East Greenland Current, Norwegian Sea


Deals primarily with data from cruises of the Edisto, summers 1964-65, and 1965 drift of Arlis II; supported by the Office of Naval Research through the Arctic Institute of North America. Pt 2 gives more detailed data on the temperature/salinity distributions and movements of the polar water, which represents only a minor part of the total flow, but constitutes the upper layer of the East Greenland Current and mainly controls the ice distribution; the Atlantic intermediate water, the major component of the total transport, warmer than the other waters, whose westward movement from the West Spitsbergen current begins just north of 75 N, occurs over a wide range of latitude, probably to 80 N, with the depth of the layer decreasing westward. At about 73 N, warm water moves eastward in a cyclonic movement presumably associated with that of the polar water in the Jan Mayen Polar Current; warm water not involved in this movement continues southward near the continental slope at >200 m depths. The deep water (below 1500 m) underlying the Norwegian Sea gyre (S and SE of Jan Mayen) and Greenland Sea gyre (NE of Jan Mayen) can be differentiated by temperature, the one always warmer than -1C, the other always colder. The deep water along the Greenland slope is either the Norwegian Sea or the transitional type; that of the Polar basin comes primarily from the Norwegian Sea.