Effects of along-shore wind on DSW formation beneath coastal polynyas: Application to the Sea of Okhotsk



[1] It is known that salinity anomaly under a polynya reaches and remains an equilibrium value S* after termination of its initial increase associated with brine rejection at the surface. In this paper, we investigate effect of along-shore (downwelling-favorable) wind on the equilibrium salinity anomaly by idealized numerical calculations and scale-based estimates. Numerical calculations showed that high saline water beneath polynya is advected downstream by wind-driven circulations over the shelf besides baroclinically developed eddies, which consequently induces a decrease in S* beneath polynya. The downwelling-favorable wind generates an offshore overturning flow through lower layers, referred to as Ekman Compensation Flow (ECF), which causes a great offshore salinity flux, as well as an along-shore current. We also constructed an equation for estimation of S* from the viewpoint of salinity budget over the polynya region, in which lateral salinity fluxes caused by ECF, along-shore wind-driven current and baroclinic eddies, are scaled. The solution S* was also verified by a series of numerical calculations. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of along-shore wind on dense water generation beneath the Okhotsk coastal polynyas. We conducted simplified numerical experiments assuming the Okhotsk situation, in which Fs and offshore width b of polynya are predicted by a thermodynamic polynya model with ECMWF meteorological variables. The simulated salinity shows a good agreement with the direct measurements. The theoretical estimates for S* was also applied to two Okhotsk polynyas, northwestern polynya (NWP) and northern polynya (NP). In conclusion, we found that the along-shore wind causes greater salinity decrease in NP than in NWP, whose variations substantially depend on the Aleutian Low activity.