An international team has discovered a previously unrecognized stream of ocean transporting water to one of the world’s largest waterfalls in the North Atlantic Ocean: the flow of the Faroe Coast Channel into the deep North Atlantic. In examining the paths that water passes through this major waterfall, the research team identified a surprising path of cold and dense water flowing in depth, which led to the discovery of this new ocean current.
“This new ocean current and the path leading to the Faroe Islands Channel are exciting findings,” said Léon Chafik, lead author of an article published in Natural communications and a researcher at Stockholm University in Sweden.
“The two discoveries discovered here, in one of the best-studied areas of the world’s oceans, are a clear reminder that we still have a lot to learn about the North Seas,” said co-author Thomas Rossby, a professor emeritus at the URI graduate school. oceanography. “This is crucial given the absolutely crucial role they play in the large climatic fluctuations of the glacier.”
Previous studies of this deep current have long suggested that these cold waters, which flow along the northern slope of the Faroe Islands, turn directly into the Faroe-Shetland Canal (the region through which the water flows before reaching the Faroese Canal). Instead, Chafik and the co-creators of the article show that there is another path to the Faroe-Shetland Channel. They show that the water can go a long way to the continental margin outside Norway and then turn south towards this important waterfall. “Revealing this newly identified path from available observations was not a direct process and it took us a long time to come together,” Chafik said.
The researchers also found that this new route depends on the prevailing wind conditions. “Atmospheric circulation seems to play a major role in organizing the identified flow regimes,” Chafik added.
The study further reveals that most of the water that ends up in the Faroe Canal is not actually transported along the western side of the Faroe-Shetland Canal (the region through which the water flows before reaching the Faroe Canal) than before. thought. Instead, most of this water comes from the eastern side of the Faroe-Shetland Canal, where it is transported by currents and deep ocean currents. “It was a strange but very exciting finding, especially since we are aware that there is a very similar flow structure in the Danish Strait. We are pleased to have been able to identify this new sea current in observations as well as in the general high-resolution ocean. circulation model, “said Chafik.
“Because this newly discovered ocean flow and current play an important role in the ocean’s circulation at higher latitudes, its discovery contributes to our limited understanding of the reversal of circulation in the Atlantic Ocean,” Chafik said. “This discovery would not have been possible without many institutional efforts over the years.”
Image: Faroe Islands as a dream of Copernicus Sentinel-2
Léon Chafik et al., Discovery of an unrecognized road leading to overflow waters towards the English Channel, Natural communications (2020). DOI: 10,1038 / s41467-020-17426-8
Provided by the University of Rhode Island
Citations: A new stream carrying water to the main “waterfall” discovered in the deep ocean (2020, July 30) was obtained on July 30, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-07-current-major-waterfall -deep-ocean. html
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