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Keywords:

  • Arctic Ocean;
  • Baffin Bay;
  • Canadian Arctic Archipelago;
  • freshwater transports;
  • geostrophic flow;
  • volume transports

[1] Baffin Bay connects the Arctic Ocean and the Labrador Sea. It receives Polar water through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and by the West Greenland Current. The Polar water is, after transformation, exported through Davis Strait. With control sections both upstream and downstream Baffin Bay invites the use of an idealized geostrophic approach to estimate transports. The baroclinic transports, driven by the density differences between the Arctic Ocean and Baffin Bay, are first determined. The density and upper layer depth are assumed the same in Lancaster Sound, Nares Strait and the West Greenland Current. Once the baroclinic transports are estimated the sea level difference between the Arctic Ocean and Baffin Bay is computed. Next the upper layer depth in Nares Strait and the West Greenland Current is reduced, while the sea level difference is kept constant. This allows for deep inflows through Nares Strait and the West Greenland Current. To establish a deep outflow through Davis Strait a “barotropic” sea level slope between the Arctic Ocean and the Labrador Sea is estimated from two “ideal” water columns. The transports are computed for different salinities in the Polar water and the salinity giving mass balance in the deeper layers is determined. The effects of possible increased melting of the Greenland icecap are examined. If the meltwater is added directly to Baffin Bay the effects are small, but if it is incorporated in the East and West Greenland Current a significant reduction of the outflow through the Archipelago might occur.