Denmark Strait overflow water (DSOW) is a main contributor to the formation of the deep branch of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which has an essential function in determining the climate of the North Atlantic region. The origin of this overflow is generally attributed to the East Greenland Current (EGC). However, recent observations reveal that the North Icelandic Jet (NIJ) has a main role in the formation of the dense overflow water. Here we investigate the NIJ and its role among the current system north of the Denmark Strait by using an ocean general circulation model coupled to a prescribed atmosphere. The model gives a reliable depiction of the circulation and shows good agreement with the latest estimates of the mean transport of the NIJ, the North Icelandic Irminger Current and the DSOW. A good correlation between the time series of the NIJ and the DSOW implies that the jet significantly contributes to the formation of the overflow water. The analysis of the dense water paths suggests that different sources feed the NIJ and, in particular, a southeastward branch of the EGC might be the main contributor to its transport.
C Corsaro, A Sterl. The North Icelandic Jet and its contribution to the Denmark Strait overflow water
Status: submitted, Journal: Geophys. Res. Lett., Year: 2013