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Abstract

We describe surface currents in the Porsanger fjord (Porsangerfjorden) located in the European Arctic in the vicinity of the Barents Sea. Our analysis is based on surface current data collected in the summer of 2014 using High Frequency (WERA, Helzel Messtechnik GmbH) radar system. One of our objectives was to separate out the tidal from the nontidal components of the currents and to determine the most important tidal constituents. Tides in the Porsanger fjord are substantial, with tidal range on the order of about 3 m. Tidal analysis attributes to tides about 99% of variance in sea level time series recorded in Honningsvaag. The most important tidal component in sea level data is the M2 component, with amplitude of ∼90 cm. The S2 and N2 constituents (amplitude of ∼20 cm) also play a significant role in the semidiurnal sea level oscillations. The most important diurnal component is K1 with amplitude of about 8 cm. The most important tidal component in analyzed surface currents records is the M2 component. The second most important component is the S2. Our results indicate that in contrast to sea level, only about 10-30% of variance in surface currents can be attributed to tidal currents. This means that about 70-90% of variance is due to wind-induced and geostrophic currents.
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