Tracing Pacific water in the North Atlantic Ocean



[1] In the Arctic Ocean, Pacific source water can be distinguished from Atlantic source water by nitrate-phosphate concentration relationships, with Pacific water having higher phosphate concentrations relative to those of nitrate. Furthermore, Pacific water, originally from the inflow through Bering Strait, is clearly recognizable in the outflows of low-salinity waters from the Arctic Ocean to the northern North Atlantic Ocean through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and through Fram Strait. In the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, we observe that almost all of the waters flowing through Lancaster and Jones sounds, most of the water in the top 100 m in Smith Sound (containing the flow through Nares Strait), and possibly all waters in Hudson Bay contain no water of Atlantic origin. Significant amounts of Pacific water are also observed along the western coast of Baffin Bay, along the coast of Labrador, and above the 200-m isobath of the Grand Banks. There is a clear signal of Pacific water flowing south through Fram Strait and along the east coast of Greenland extending at least as far south as Denmark Strait. Pacific water signature can be seen near the east coast of Greenland at 66°N, but not in data at 60°N. Temporal variability in the concentrations of Pacific water has been observed at several locations where multiple-year observations are available.