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New paper in GRL: the local biogeochemical impacts of Greenland subglacial discharge

June 30, 2023
Much of Greenland runoff is delivered to the coastal ocean at marine-terminating glaciers, potentially hundreds of meters below the sea surface. The resulting turbulent buoyant plumes can entrain nurtrient-rich deeper waters, potentially delivering these nutrients to the upper water column which can support elevated primary productivity. The importance of this buoyant plume-productivity effect around Greenland is not yet clear, however.
Here, we apply buoyant plume theory on a pan-Greenland scale to assess the potential for subglacial-discharge driven nutrient enhancements between glacier termini, and find that most of the upwelling is concentrated in a few hotspots, with 14% of glaciers driving >50% of the total nitrate effect. We then compare the model results to coastal chlorphyll concentrations, and find strong interannual relationships are limited to CW and NW Greenland. Subglacial discharge fluxes can explain most of the interannual variability in seasonal chlorophyll in northern Disko Bay and Uummannaq Fjord, which host Greenland’s largest commercial fisheries.
Oliver, H., Slater, D., Carroll, D., Wood, M., Morlighem, M., & Hopwood, M. J. (2023). Greenland subglacial discharge as a driver of hotspots of increasing coastal chlorophyll since the early 2000s. Geophysical Research Letters, 50, e2022GL102689.

New SPIROPA paper on shelf-water streamers out in Progress in Oceanography

November 30, 2022

Our new SPIROPA paper led by Gordon Zhang on cross-shelf tracer exchange by a streamer of shelf water on the eastern periphery of a warm-core ring in the Middle Atlantic Bight has been published in Progress in Oceanography! Find the paper here:

Buoyant Plume Dynamics Across Greenland

May 30, 2022

Check out our new paper characterizing buoyant plume dynamics across Greenland, led by Donald Slater “Characteristic depths, fluxes, and timescales for Greenland’s tidewater glacier fjords from subglacial discharge-driven upwelling during summer”. Watch Donald’s IGS seminar on this work here. (Article PDF)


What drives surface chlorophyll enhancement detected at the New England Shelfbreak? Find out in our new SPIROPA paper out in JGR!

January 10, 2022

Our new SPIROPA paper is now out in JGR: “Ephemeral surface chlorophyll enhancement at the New England shelf break driven by Ekman restratification”.