July 26, 2003
We've been crisscrossing north-south over the Iceland-Faroe Front taking CTD and ADCP readings. The bottom topography between Greenland and Scotland forms a continuous ridge below 840 meters, which constrains the waters flowing northeastward. The ridge between Iceland and the Faroes lies at a depth of around 500 meters. There is an exchange of waters across this ridge with relatively warm (greater than 5º C) salty near-surface water flowing into the Nordic Seas and cold (less than 0ºC) low salinity water flowing outward. This water exchange across the ridge is important for 2 reasons.
The illustration here is a satellite infrared photo taken during the month of April. Areas in black are either landmasses or cloud cover. The front where the two contrasting waters meet is clear to see. Yellows and oranges are the warm waters, purples and blues are the cold waters.