Distribution of salinity measurements and salinity variations on shelf- and in fjord waters, around Svalbard - throughout the last century
Salinity data are an important component of the climate models that seek out to predict the climate variability. This data, of direct measurements, are scattered and needs to be assembled. This thesis set out to gather salinity data from the fjord and shelf area around Svalbard, to find out how the temporal and spatial distribution of data looked like. The waters around Svalbard are affected by both warm Atlantic water from the West Spitsbergen current, and colder Arctic water, flowing in a coastal current. Also, runoff from glaciers provides freshwater. Data were collected from the UNIS HD and EN4 database and were visualized. In addition, the gathered data were visually examined for anomalies and changes in the halocline depth over time. The resulting maps showed sparser amount of salinity data in the 1920’s onwards with a major increase available data taking place in 1990’s and from there on. The majority of the data are located on the west side of Svalbard. When investigating the change in Halocline over time, the visual method used, left room open for subjective interpretation. For this reason, this part was abandoned. Both low- and high salinity anomalies that stood out visually were selected. The high salinity anomalies are probably connected to the water intruding from the West Spitsbergen current, while one of the low salinity anomalies might be related to the melting of sea ice.