Multidecadal polynya formation in a conceptual (box) model

Boot, Amber; van Westen, René M.; Dijkstra, Henk A.

Maud Rise polynyas (MRPs) form due to deep convection, which is caused by static instabilities of the water column. Recent studies with the Community Earth System Model (CESM) have indicated that a multidecadal varying heat accumulation in the subsurface layer occurs prior to MRP formation due to the heat transport over the Weddell Gyre. In this study, a conceptual MRP box model, forced with CESM data, is used to investigate the role of this subsurface heat accumulation in MRP formation. Cases excluding and including multidecadal varying subsurface heat and salt fluxes are considered, and multiple polynya events are only simulated in the cases where subsurface fluxes are included. The dominant frequency for MRP events in these results, approximately the frequency of the subsurface heat and salt accumulation, is still visible in cases where white noise is added to the freshwater flux. This indicates the importance and dominance of the subsurface heat accumulation in MRP formation.



Boot, Amber / van Westen, René M. / Dijkstra, Henk A.: Multidecadal polynya formation in a conceptual (box) model. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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