West Greenland Current


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West Greenland Current

[′west ¦grēn·lənd ′kə·rənt]
(oceanography)
The current flowing northward along the west coast of Greenland into the Davis Strait; part of this current joins the Labrador Current, while the other part continues into Baffin Bay.

West Greenland Current

 

a warm current of the Labrador and Baffin seas and the Davis Straight, flowing from south to north along the southwestern and western coasts of Greenland. It is a continuation of the Irminger Current, one of the branches of the warm North Atlantic Current. Average temperature ranges from 0° to 2°C. Salinity equals 33.0-33.5 parts per thousand. Its speed is 0.9-1.9 km/hr:

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The prevailing West Greenland Current usually carries icebergs first to the north and then counterclockwise around Baffin Bay before the icebergs even begin their southward journey many months later.
In Brown's book, the iceberg calved from Jakobshavn Glacier in September 1910, moves out of Disk [empty set] Bay, and is then carried northward up the coast by the West Greenland Current. Brown's berg spends the winter of 1910-11 in the north end of Baffin Bay, drifts westward in the summer, and begins to drift southward in August 1911.
As the winter season progresses, the West Greenland Current tends to carry icebergs around the tip of Greenland up along the coast.
Nearly 300 radiocarbon dates on Holocene driftwood from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago reveal two regions with contrasting histories of driftwood incursion: the region accessible to wood brought into Baffin Bay by the West Greenland Current and the rest of the archipelago, which receives wood from the Arctic Ocean.
If the entire TPD, with its sea ice and wood load, exited Fram Strait via the East Greenland Current, some of the ice and wood should eventually be carried northward into Baffin Bay by the West Greenland Current. Some of this would strand on the shores accessible to currents flowing into the southeastern part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from Baffin Bay, but little or no wood would be delivered to other parts (i.e., most) of the archipelago.
Region Accessible from Baffin Bay: The east coast of Baffin Island and the coast of Ellesmere Island south of Smith Sound are accessible to wood brought into Baffin Bay by the West Greenland Current. Arctic Ocean water also flows into the head of Baffin Bay via Nares Strait.
8.5-6.75 ka B.P.: the TPD was split more or less evenly at northeast Greenland and delivered wood to both the archipelago and northern Baffin Bay; most wood arriving in both regions was spruce, presumably of North American origin; the West Greenland Current was fully established by 8.5 ka B.P.