Major pathways of Atlantic water in the northern North Atlantic and Nordic Seas toward Arctic
Article first published online: 1 OCT 2002
Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 29, Issue 19, pages 2-1–2-4, October 2002
How to Cite
Major pathways of Atlantic water in the northern North Atlantic and Nordic Seas toward Arctic, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29(19), 1896, doi:10.1029/2002GL015002, 2002., and ,
- Issue published online: 1 OCT 2002
- Article first published online: 1 OCT 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 MAY 2002
- Manuscript Received: 27 FEB 2002
 The major pathways of near-surface Atlantic water in the northern North Atlantic and Nordic Seas are identified as current speeds above 30 cm/s, using 1014 Lagrangian drifters combined with previously published hydrography. The inflow over the Scotland-Greenland ridge and establishment of the two-branch Norwegian Atlantic Current (NwAC) are described in light of the circulation in the northern North Atlantic. The western branch of the NwAC appears as a jet in the Polar Front, topographically guided from the Iceland-Faroe Front, through the Nordic Seas toward Fram Strait. The eastern branch starts as a shelf edge current above the Irish-Scottish continental shelf, and after passing through the Faroe-Shetland Channel, it continues northward along the Norwegian shelf edge toward the Arctic, with a branch bifurcating into the Barents Sea. The NwAC appears to maintain its two-branch structure throughout the Nordic Seas, with the Atlantic water confined to a 200–600 km wide wedge.