Arctic Ocean research - Ice interactions

Science Behind the Image

The image shows a daily average temperature field from a numerical model simulation of warm sub-surface water of subtropical origin carried with the Norwegian Atlantic boundary current into the Arctic Ocean, northwestward along the West Spitsbergen current and northeastward through Barents Sea opening. The view is northeastward, from Iceland toward the Fram Strait and the eastern Arctic, with Svalbard at the center, Greenland to the left, and Eurasia to the upper right. The horizontal extent covers 1320 x 1080 grid points, which corresponds to physical dimensions of ~5000 km x 3500 km. 33 vertical levels comprise the depth range between 0-1400 m. Temperature ranges from 0 (blue) to 6ºC (red). High performance computing is required to capture mesoscale eddies of length-scale less than 15 km shedding off and transporting heat and freshwater toward the ocean interior. Understanding how these currents transport heat into the high Arctic and its surrounding seas will enable the quantification of the impact of recent observed changes in the atmosphere and ocean heat content on Arctic sea ice and ecosystems, as well as Greenland's marine margins. Supported by NSF grants PLR-1603903 and PLR-1708289, and through continuing support from NASA for the "Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) project.

Visualization Behind the Image

The visualization was produced using ParaView and OSPRay.



Greg Foss

Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, UT Austin

An T. Nguyen
P. Heimbach
V. Vocaña