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By L. K. Coachman, K. Aagaard (auth.), Yvonne Herman (eds.)

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The average direction of motion is also similar, at least in the upper approximately 50 m. Below about 50 m it is possible that the mean flow direction is somewhat different than in the upper layer, but this remains to be investigated. In any case it is clear that the surface waters experience speed fluctuations as much as an order of magnitude greater than the mean flow and that there are large variations in direction associated with these fluctuations. Pycnocline Region* The significant increase of density with depth occurs between about 50 and 250 m.

Probably they are associated with changes in the wind field which excite a barotropic response, and this is in turn amplified baroclinically by the pycnocline. The pulses observed during March 1970 were strongly correlated with ice motion which in turn was related to the wind field, and the pulses of current (at 150 m depth) actually preceded corresponding pulses in ice motion by about one-half day. This apparently occurred because the baroclinic rate of adjustment in the ocean was slower than the barotropic by a factor of about 3, so that immediately after surface readjustment the barotropic and baroclinic modes reinforced each other.

We do not believe, however, that the deep water is actually formed at the surface. For example, with the possible exception of a few of Metcalf's stations from 1951 and 1952, no winter hydrographic data show surface salinities high enough to form deep water, even if cooled to the freezing point. We feel instead that the deep water acquires its characteristics at a subsurface level, and we are presently engaged in a careful analysis of all available hydrographic stations in the Greenland Sea, from which we expect to gain better understanding of the deep water formation process.

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