Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem Barents Sea
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names
LME SAU No 20. Northeast Atlantic, from Novaya Zemlya Peninsula to Svalvard Island. LME2002, Modified LME 2006, SAU 2008. 82° N 63° N - 3° E 68° E
Location Map Barents_Sea.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 2003064 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface 4.0 °C Map19.gif
100 Meters Depth 2.0 °C Map20.gif
Description The Barents Sea is located between 70° and 80° N on the North European continental shelf. It covers an area of about 1.4 x 106 km2 and has an average depth of 230 m. There is Atlantic water in the south and west, and Arctic or mixed water in the north and east. The inflowing Atlantic water is cooled and modified into Arctic or Barents Sea water. The Atlantic water is characterized by salinities around 35.0 ppt and temperatures of 2° C or higher. The Arctic water is typically colder than 0° C and has salinities from 34.3 to 34.8 ppt (Loeng, in press). This transformation and exchange of bottom water may cause periodic variations in inflow activity which may explain the large observed variations in ocean climate and ice cover. Freezing over shallow bank areas can result in particularly heavy cold water with salinities above 35.0 ppt. This water flows as bottom water into the deeper basins and trenches (Midttun, 1985). There is also an ice-cover that covers1/3 to 2/3 of the Sea and which varies considerably during the year and inter-annually. The Barents Sea is in many ways an extreme environment, because of the high latitude, large seasonal and annual changes in ocean climate, and the fact that it is an Arctic/subarctic environment (Midttun and Loeng, 1987) ( Needs re-checking of species assignments, using Ref. 35388.
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
Ecosystem Checklist Link
FishBase Literature
Species Families Species Families Reference
156 49 36372
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