Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Virginia Institute of Marine Science


Movement of Atlantic Water into the Kara Sea is controlled by the bathymetry which funnels the inflow up three canyons along the eastern margin of the Svyataya Anna Trough. Mixing of the warm, saline Atlantic Water in these canyons with the considerable summer outflow of the Ob-Yenisey rivers results in the formation of Arctic Bottom Water and due to the presence and cooling by ice, in the formation of Arctic Surface Water. Both of these water masses then exit the Kara Sea as deep and shallow countercurrents to the incoming Atlantic Water. The northernmost canyon allows some Atlantic Water to exit the Kara Sea almost upon entrance, reducing the amount of heat and salt entering the Kara Sea. The presence and extent of the bottom sediments reflect the path of the rivers across the Kara. Inflow of deep Atlantic Water tends to reduce this effect and results in scoured areas at the heads of the canyons, which are sites of turbulent mixing. Ice is a major factor in the Kara Sea. It cools and dilutes the surrounding water. In the form of icebergs, it gouges paths through the soft, shallow, deltaic sediments and in the deeper areas, deposits ice rafted material.



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