The Iceland-Faroe Slope Jet: a conduit for dense water toward the Faroe Bank Channel overflow

Stefanie Semper, Robert S. P Pickart, Karin Margretha Húsgarð Larsen, Hjálmar Hátun, Bogi Hansen

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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Dense water from the Nordic Seas passes through the Faroe Bank Channel and supplies the
lower limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a critical component of
the climate system. Yet, the upstream pathways of this water are not fully known. Here we
present evidence of a previously unrecognised deep current following the slope from Iceland
toward the Faroe Bank Channel using high-resolution, synoptic shipboard observations and
long-term measurements north of the Faroe Islands. The bulk of the volume transport of the
current, named the Iceland-Faroe Slope Jet (IFSJ), is relatively uniform in hydrographic
properties, very similar to the North Icelandic Jet flowing westward along the slope north of
Iceland toward Denmark Strait. This suggests a common source for the two major overflows
across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge. The IFSJ can account for approximately half of the total
overflow transport through the Faroe Bank Channel, thus constituting a significant component
of the overturning circulation in the Nordic Seas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalNature Communications
Issue number5390
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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