Physical Oceanography


Overturning in the Nordic Seas

Main content

Main objectives: The overturning that takes place within the Nordic Seas impacts the world ocean and is of key importance for the North Atlantic climate system. Warm Gulf Stream-origin waters flow northward across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge into the Nordic Seas, release heat to the atmosphere, and are transformed into cold, dense waters. These waters return southward at depth by flowing through gaps in the ridge as overflow plumes. In the OVENS project we fundamentally advance our understanding of the coupled ocean-atmosphere climate system in the Nordic Seas using a combination of observations and numerical methods. In particular, we investigate where and how dense waters are formed, their pathways toward the Greenland-Scotland Ridge, and how this has changed with time.

Funding: Trond Mohn Foundation

Project period: 2016 - 2020

Project coordinator: Kjetil Våge

Selected publications:
- Våge et al. (2022):
Water mass transformation in the Iceland Sea: Contrasting two winters
separated by four decades

- Semper et al. (2019):
The Emergence of the North Icelandic Jet and Its Evolution from Northeast Iceland
to Denmark Strait

- Brakstad et al. (2019):
Water Mass Transformation in the Greenland Sea during the Period 1986–2016
- Renfrew et al. (2019):
The Iceland Greenland Seas Project
- Våge et al. (2018):
Ocean convection linked to the recent ice edge retreat along east Greenland