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Irminger Rings in the Labrador Sea

PI: Amy Bower

The objectives of IRINGS were to (1) to determine the full water column hydrographic and velocity structure of newly formed Irminger Rings that have entered the interior Labrador Sea; (2) to observe how Irminger Ring core properties are modified by atmospheric forcing over their lifetime; and (3) to improve the interpretation of sea surface height (SSH) anomalies in terms of newly formed coherent heat containing Irminger Rings. The mooring deployment and recovery cruises were both on the R/V Knorr: KN192-01 in September 2007 and KN196-01 in September 2009, respectively. The single mooring held eight Aanderaa current meters (RCM-11), two Submerged Autonomous Launch Platforms (SALPs), and nine Seabird microcats (SBE37), deployed from 26 September 2007 through 27 September 2009, yielding full water column (100-3000 meters) records of temperature, salinity, pressure, and velocity data for the two year period. The two SALP cages contained eleven APEX floats, and released some of these floats according to local oceanographic conditions, so as to seed the floats in passing Irminger Rings, and the remainder of floats as timed releases. Thirteen conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) stations were taken on the mooring recovery cruise, creating a boundary current cross-section from the mooring site to Nuuk, Greenland.  The project was funded by NSF.


This project was generously supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.


de Jong, M.F. A.S. Bower, and H.H. Furey, 2014. Two years of observations of warm core anticyclones in the Labrador Sea and their seasonal cycle in heat and salt stratification.   J. Phys. Oceanogr., 44.

Furey, H.H., M.F. de Jong, J.R. Valdes, and A.S. Bower, 2013. Eddy seeding in the Labrador Sea: A Submerged Autonomous Launch Platform application.   J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 30, 2611-2629.

Fieldwork - The Unseen Currents.  On the Labrador Sea, the scientific crew of the research vessel Knorr hunts for underwater storms, sinks a two-mile mooring, and gathers clues to the planet's fate.  Pop. Sci., March 2011.

Technical Reports

H.H. Hunt, T.K. McKee, M.F. de Jong, P.E. Robbins, and A.S. Bower. 2013.  Impact of Irminger Rings on Deep Convection in the Labrador Sea: Mooring Instrument, Cruise CTD, and APEX Data Report, September 2007-September 2009.  Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Technical Report WHOI-2013-05, Woods Hole, MA, 102 pp


Bower, A.S., H.H. Furey, and T. McKee. An Irminger Ring Mooring in the Labrador Sea. Spring EGU Meeting and AMOC Conference 2009. Project overview and early results.