TERRAPUB Journal of Oceanography

Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 60 (No. 3), pp. 613-623, 2004

Mass, Heat and Salt Balances in the Eastern Barents Sea Obtained by Inversion of Hydrographic Section Data

Gleb Panteleev1,2*, Motoyoshi Ikeda1, Alex Grotov2, Dmitri Nechaev2,3 and Max Yaremchuk2,4

1International Arctic Research Center-Frontier Research System for Global Change, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7335, U.S.A.
2Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Nakhimovsky Prospect 36, Moscow 117218, Russia
3University of Southern Mississippi, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529, U.S.A.
4International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, U.S.A.

(Received 7 February 2003; in revised form 9 September 2003; accepted 10 September 2003)

Abstract: Standard hydrological section data, collected in the eastern Barents Sea in September 1997, have been analyzed using a variational data assimilation technique. This method allows us to obtain temperature, salinity and velocity fields that are consistent with observations and dynamically balanced within the framework of a steady-state model describing large-scale nearly geostrophic circulation. Error bars of the optimized fields are computed by explicit inversion of the Hessian matrix. The optimized velocity field is in agreement with independent velocity observations derived from surface drifter trajectories in the southwestern part of the Barents Sea. Optimized fields provide the following estimates of integral characteristics of the circulation in the region: i) the North Cape current transport is 2.12 ± 0.25 Sv; ii) the Karskie Vorota Strait throughflow is 0.7 ± 0.06 Sv; iii) heat flux with Atlantic water is 4.7 ± 0.161011 W; iv) salt import from the Atlantic Ocean is 7.41 ± 0.46·103 kg/s. The imbalance of the heat budget in the eastern part of the Barents Sea indicates the presence of statistically insignificant surface heat fluxes which are less than 1 W/m2.

*Corresponding author E-mail: gleb@iarc.uaf.edu

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