Oceanologists tracked the transfer of fresh water off the Arctic coast
Russian oceanologists have studied the spread of so-called river plumes: desalinated water masses, which occur in the Arctic seas because of the river runoff and salt sea water mixing. These data will help to assess the impact of Siberian rivers on the Arctic ecosystems and climate, the press service of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) announced.
The largest Siberian rivers carry 2.3 thousand km3 fresh water to the Arctic Ocean every year. Much of these water get into the Arctic seas in late summer and early autumn, when they are almost completely ice-free.
Scientists have a long-standing interest in the impact of the river runoffs on the life of Arctic flora and fauna, as well as how they mix with the waters of the Arctic Ocean and spread throughout its waters. In particular, Russian scientists recently found out that the Earth's rotation, as well as the differences in density between the salt water of the sea and river plumes, make the latter move along the shores of the mainland and islands. This strongly affects the ice distribution in the Arctic Ocean.