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The role of convective chimneys in the Greenland Sea

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Long-lived convective chimneys were discovered in the Greenland Sea in 1997 and during a subsequent EU-funded research programme called CONVECTION were tracked in winter and summer cruises; one chimney was observed for three years. It is found that they are rotating cylinders of diameter 20 km, with (in winter) uniform water from the surface to 2500 m. In summer they become subsurface features as they are capped by low-salinity surface water. Their properties were first discussed by Peter Killworth but many mysteries remain, including formation mechanism, survival time and volume of overturned water. Properties will be reviewed along with recent results from physical modelling.

This talk is part of the BPI Seminar Series series.

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