Oceanography of the

St. Lawrence Island Polynya Region

Tom Weingartner and Seth Danielson

1881 US Coast and Geodetic Survey chart depicting currents in the northern Bering Sea

An extensive subsurface oceanographic mooring array was deployed just south of St. Lawrence Island between September 1998 and September 1999 to test theoretical ideas regarding the fate of dense winter water generated within the polynya. The data presented here are primarily from this effort. Researchers from the University of Alaska (Tom Weingartner and Seth Danielson), University of Washington (Knut Aagaard and Seelye Martin), and the University of Hamburg in Germany (Detlef Quadfasel and Jens Meincke) were involved in the field program. The theoretical model was developed by David Chapman and Glen Gawarkiewicz at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

This webpage is provided to offer further realizations of the St. Lawrence Island polynya oceanography that we did not include within any published (or soon to be published) manuscript but are nonetheless interesting.

For a look at the ice dynamics within the polynya during the mooring deployment period, see Drucker, Martin and Moritz, Observations of ice thickness and frazil ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya from satellite imagery, upward looking sonar and saliniy/temperature moorings, JGR, Vol.108, C5, 3149, 2003

Two manuscripts came from this deployment::

1.Danielson, S., K. Aagaard, T. Weingartner, S. Martin, P. Winsor, G. Gawarkiewicz, and D. Quadfasel (2006), The St. Lawrence polynya and the Bering shelf circulation: New observations and a model comparison, J. Geophys. Res., 111, C09023, doi:10.1029/2005JC003268.

2. Danielson, S., and Z. Kowalik (2005), Tidal currents in the St. Lawrence Island region, J. Geophys. Res., 110, C10004, doi:10.1029/2004JC002463.

Historical surface current compilation courtesy of the NOAA Historical Map and Chart Project. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Science Foundation for this work.