Runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet, local glaciers, and snowmelt along the northeastern Greenland coastline has a significant impact on coastal water masses flowing south toward Denmark Strait. Very few direct measurements of runoff currently exist in this large area, and the water masses near the coast are also difficult to measure due to the presence of icebergs and sea ice. Measurements from the Zackenberg Research station, located in Young Sound/Tyrolerfjord in northeast Greenland (74N), provide some of the few observations of hydrographic, hydrologic, and atmospheric parameters from this remote area. Here we analyze measurements from the fjord and also measurements in the ambient water masses, which are found in the outer fjord and between the fjord and the East Greenland Current and validate and apply a numerical model of the fjord. A model sensitivity study allows us to constrain runoff estimates for the area. We also show that a total runoff between 0.9 and 1.4 km3 in 2006 is in accordance with observed surface salinities and calculated freshwater content in the fjord. This indicates that earlier reported runoff to the area is significantly underestimated and that melt from glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet in this region may be up to 50% larger than the current estimate. Model simulations indicate the presence of a cold low-saline coastal water mass formed by runoff from fjords north of the Young Sound/Tyrolerfjord system. Simulations of passive and age tracers show that residence time of river water during the summer period is about 1 month in the inner part of the fjord.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 2014, Vol 119, Issue 9, p. 6461-6478