This paper describes characteristics of the warm coastal current in the vicinity of the ice margin in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. The warm current originates in Bering Strait and is traced around Pt. Barrow to longitude 152°W in the Beaufort Sea. In the Chukchi Sea it is concentrated near the surface, overlying dense relict bottom water trapped by the shallow depths. Eastward, as the bottom deepens, the warm water descends to mid-depth, eventually becoming warmest near bottom in depths of 30 to 50 m. Mechanisms for cooling and dilution of the warm water are discussed .