Lunar nodal tide effects on variability of sea level, temperature, and salinity in the Faroe-Shetland Channel and the Barents Sea

Harald Yndestad*, William R. Turrell, Vladimir Ozhigin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Faroe-Shetland Channel and the Kola Section hydrographic time-series cover a time period of more than 100 years and represent two of the longest oceanographic time-series in the world. Relationships between the temperature and salinity of Atlantic water from these two areas are examined in this paper, which also presents for the first time comparisons between them and annual mean sea levels in the region. The investigation was based on a wavelet spectrum analysis used to identify the dominant cycle periods and cycle phases in all time-series. The water-property time-series show mean variability correlated to a sub-harmonic cycle of the nodal tide of about 74 years, with an advective delay between the Faroe-Shetland Channel and the Barents Sea of about 2 years. In addition, correlations better than R=0.7 were found between dominant Atlantic water temperature cycles and the 18.6-year lunar nodal tide, and better than R=0.4 for the 18.6/2=9.3-year lunar nodal phase tide. The correlation between the lunar nodal tides and the ocean temperature variability suggests that deterministic lunar nodal tides are important regional climate indicators that should be included when future regional climate variability is considered. The present analysis suggests that Atlantic water temperature and salinity fluctuations in the Nordic Seas are influenced by forced tidal mixing modulated by harmonics of the nodal tide and influencing the water mass characteristics at some point "down stream" from the Faroe-Shetland Channel. The effects of the modulated oceanic mixing are subsequently distributed as complex coupled lunar nodal sub-harmonic spectra in the thermohaline circulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1217
Number of pages17
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Volume55
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

Keywords

  • 18.6-year lunar cycle
  • Atlantic water
  • Barents Sea
  • Climate dynamics
  • Decadal variability
  • North East Atlantic
  • Wavelet analysis

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