Monthly temperature, salinity, and transport variability of the Bering Strait through flow

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Abstract

[1] The Bering Strait through flow is important for the Chukchi Sea and the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. A realistic assessment of through flow properties is also necessary for validation and boundary conditions of high-resolution ocean models. From 14 years of moored measurements, we construct a monthly climatology of temperature, salinity and transport. The strong seasonality in all properties (∼31.9 to 33 psu, ∼−1.8 to 2.3°C and ∼0.4 to 1.2 Sv) dominates the Chukchi Sea hydrography and implies significant seasonal variability in the equilibrium depth and ventilation properties of Pacific waters in the Arctic Ocean. Interannual variability is large in temperature and salinity. Although missing some significant events, an empirical linear fit to a local (model) wind yields a reasonable reconstruction of the water velocity, and we use the coefficients of this fit to estimate the magnitude of the Pacific-Arctic pressure-head forcing of the Bering Strait through flow.

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