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Norwegian Current

A current that flows northeasterly along the Atlantic coast of Norway into the Barents Sea / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Norwegian Current (also known as the Norway Coastal Current) is one of two dominant arctic inflows of water. It can be traced from near Shetland, north of Scotland, otherwise from the eastern North Sea at depths of up to 100 metres. It finally passes the Opening into the Barents Sea, a large outcrop of the Arctic Ocean. Compared to its partial source the North Atlantic Current (which otherwise loops into the East Greenland Current) it is colder and less salty; the other sources are the less saline North and Baltic seas and the Norwegian fjords and rivers. It is considerably warmer and saltier than the Arctic Ocean, which is freshened by precipitation and ice in and around it. Winter temperatures in the flow are typically between 2 and 5 °C the co-parent North Atlantic flow, a heat remnant of its Gulf Stream chief contributor, exceeds 6 °C.

Norwegian coastal waters are dominated by two main water masses, the Norwegian Coastal Current and the North Atlantic Drift Water (Atlantic Water). As the Norwegian Coastal Current moves northward, North Atlantic Drift Water is mixed in, raising the salinity (see Salinity below).

The current is both wind-driven, “piling up” of water along the Norwegian coast by southwesterly winds (creating elevation and thus pressure differences), and also driven by its salinity distribution which in turn creates density gradients.[1]

North Atlantic Current (red) and Norwegian Current (orange)