Kongsfjorden and Hornsund hydrography - comparative study based on a multiyear survey in fjords of west Spitsbergen
Treść / Zawartość
A recent study has shown increased warming in the fjords of west Spitsbergen. Their location is critical, as they are situated along the main northward pathway of Atlantic Water (AW) which is a great source of heat to the Arctic Ocean and the fjords. In the light of ongoing warming, we aim to discuss differences between the fjords under northward transformation of oceanic waters. We compared summer hydrographic conditions in two fjords located in two opposite ends of west Spistbergen: Hornsund in the south and Kongsfjorden in the north. The study is based on high resolution CTD measurements collected during Arctic cruises between 2001 and 2015. The emphasis was put not only on differences in water temperature, salinity and water masses but also the freshwater content (FWC), AW transport and heat delivery to the fjords. In general, the water in Kongsfjorden is on average 18C warmer and its salinity is higher by 0.5 compared to Hornsund. It is also characterized by two times greater transport of AW and heat delivery to the fjord. On the other hand, Hornsund reveals two times higher FWC. Both fjords undergo a gradual warming due to an increased presence of Atlantic origin waters. The ongoing warming is accompanied by an increase in variability of temperature and salinity dependent on the domination of the Sørkapp Current (SC) or the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC) on the West Spitsbergen Shelf (WSS). Nonetheless, Hornsund remains more Arctic-type fjord compared to Kongsfjorden, due to stronger blocking by SC.