The Labrador Sea, located in Canada, is the northernmost natural pond in the Atlantic. Scientists found that its water area was formed as a result of tectonic activity, which entailed the separation of Greenland from North America. The separation itself occurred over forty million years ago.
Sea Labrador: Description
The Labrador Sea is adjacent to the Baffin Sea, and also has free access to the northern Atlantic Ocean. In addition, through the Labrador Sea you can get into the Hudson's Bay, sailing along the Strait of the same name. Due to its favorable geological location, a number of bays flow into the water area, including:
- I’m driving.
Sea Labrador - an oceanic inter-island reservoir, belonging to the basin of the Atlantic Ocean. It washes the shores of the following islands:
- Baffin's land.
The sea also borders the Labrador Peninsula, from which it got its name. In order to find on the map where the Labrador Sea is located, it is enough to know the following coordinates:
- North latitude - 66 ° 00 '.
- West longitude is 55 ° 00 '.
Depth and bottom relief
Most of the bottom of the sea Labrador consists of igneous rock, which was released as a result of tectonic activity. The relief has a pronounced dissected shape. The mainland slope, shelf and bed are quite clearly visible in it.
The Labrador shelf is wide, with an approximate length of 250 km. It extends along the shores of Newfoundland Island and the Labrador Peninsula. As a rule, in the coastal zones the relief is complex. There are often hollows, large reefs and shoals. Closer to the center of the sea, underwater canyons of various depths appear, and in the southeast side the depth of the reservoir gradually increases.
The average depth of the Labrador Sea is 1900 meters, but in some places it can reach a mark of 4000 meters.
The geographical location of the reservoir determines its climate. The Labrador Sea is in relative proximity to the Arctic, therefore, throughout the year, the movement of icebergs can be observed in its waters.
The inter-island sea is strewn with blocks of floating ice even in summer. As a rule, the water temperature is kept at around 0.5 ° C and only in August the surface layer warms up to 6-7 ° C.
The hydrological regime of the reservoir is ambiguous, since both warm and cold currents are found in the sea . Quite strongly on the climate of the sea is influenced by northern air masses. So, for example, cyclones moving along the Gulf Stream bring icy air behind them from the continents, making winter at Sea Labrador harsh. The lowest temperatures are in January and February. During these months, the average temperature indicator of the western part of the sea is at -18 ° . In eastern waters, the climate is less severe, here the average monthly air temperature varies between -3 - -9 ° .
Winter and summer
In autumn and winter, relatively calm north-west and south-west winds prevail over the sea, as a rule, the speed of which varies within 11 m / s. However, storm winds cannot be called a rarity in this region.
The minimum temperature lasts almost the whole year and only with the onset of summer, which lasts only two months and falls on July-August, the air and the upper layer of water warm up to 6-12 ° C, and in the north-western part of the sea - up to 8 ° C. In contrast to the fall-winter season, in the summer there are practically no storm winds. The speed of air flow, which most often comes from North America, varies between 5-6 m / s.
Summer at sea. Labrador relative. The weather here is almost always cool and rainy. The sun only occasionally peeks out from behind the clouds, dispelling thick mists.
Winds blowing almost constantly in autumn and winter, as well as the unstable water column of the central part of the reservoir create ideal conditions for intensive mixing of the upper sea layer. Ice-free waters mix to a depth of 35–40 m. In coastal areas, where the water column has a lower density and is partially covered with ice, the upper layer is mixed at a depth of 25 m.
Autumn-winter temperature drop, sometimes leading to partial freezing, excites convection. Over a large area of the central part of the reservoir, the temperature rapidly decreases, which leads to an increase in the density of salty Atlantic streams, provoking convective mixing.
Convection often reaches a depth of 400 meters. Further mixing occurs due to various dynamic processes, as well as by sliding more dense water masses along various underwater hills. In shallow areas of the sea, where ice formation is observed, as a rule, the so-called winter vertical circulation occurs, which allows mixing water to the very bottom of the reservoir.
The Sea of Labrador (photo taken during the storm, see above) is quite large. Powerful winds regularly blow over the pond, causing significant unrest. As a rule, the most serious unrest is observed from September to April. At this time, the waves most often reach a height of 3 m. But if the storm drags on, then the maximum wave height can be about 15 m. You can see the Labrador Sea relatively calm in the summer. In July-August, the unrest is minimal, but it is impossible to exclude the occurrence of a storm that can lift waves to a height of 10 m.
The horizontal circulation of water in a body of water occurs under the influence of processes in nearby areas located in the northern region of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as under the influence of a stream passing through a shelf located between the Labrador Peninsula and Newfoundland Island. The currents present in the upper layers of the sea have a direction opposite to the clockwise movement. In the far northeastern part, the East Greenland Current enters the reservoir, which is extremely cold. Not far from Cape Farvel, a warmer stream called Irminger connects to it. This “duet” creates a new stream - the West Greenland, which meets the Labrador current.
Tides are formed due to the tidal wave that comes to the Labrador Sea from the cold Atlantic Ocean. Between each of the tides there is an interval of 12 hours, and the wave height in the open sea, as a rule, is about 2 m. However, this value cannot be considered stable. The height of the wave may vary depending on the underwater terrain, depth.
Tidal currents have a significant effect on the constant circulation of water, for example, at the western borders of the reservoir it seriously slows down the Labrador current, and at low tide it significantly increases its speed.
Flora and fauna
Despite the fact that the Labrador Sea cannot boast of warm waters, it is home to numerous representatives of the animal and plant world. Unlike many Arctic-type seas, here in the summer you can find schooling fish and squid, which are quite thermophilic.
In the Labrador Sea there is a huge amount of phyto-plants and invertebrates, for example shrimp, worms, mollusks. Despite the cold, birds like gulls, guillemots constantly live here. The Labrador Sea has become home to a large population of killer whales, dolphins, and whales.