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Rapid Southern Ocean front transitions in an eddy-resolving ocean GCM

Thompson, A. F.; Haynes, P. H.; Wilson, C.; Richards, K. J.. 2010 Rapid Southern Ocean front transitions in an eddy-resolving ocean GCM. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L23602. 10.1029/2010gl045386

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Abstract/Summary

The formation of persistent multiple fronts is an established feature of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). Front strength and location are closely linked to eddy properties and therefore have important implications for the eddy-driven closure of the Southern Ocean meridional overturning circulation. ACC front structure is analyzed here by calculating regional probability density functions (PDFs) of potential vorticity diagnosed in an eddy-resolving ocean general circulation model. Rapid spatial transitions in the number of fronts and in the density classes over which they occur are found. Front transitions are associated with the major topographic obstacles Kerguelen Island, Campbell Plateau and Drake Passage; multiple fronts are preferentially found downstream of these features. These findings highlight the significant departure from zonal symmetry of the ACC front structure and emphasize the importance of local dynamics on large-scale Southern Ocean properties. Citation: Thompson, A. F., P. H. Haynes, C. Wilson, and K. J. Richards (2010), Rapid Southern Ocean front transitions in an eddy-resolving ocean GCM

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2010gl045386
Programmes: Oceans 2025 > Climate, ocean circulation and sea level
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Thompson, Andrew F. Haynes, Peter H. Wilson, Chris Richards, Kelvin J. Nerc [ne/e013171/1, ne/1001794/1] The authors gratefully acknowledge the provision of OFES output by Hideharu Sasaki and James Potemra. We also thank Matt Mazloff for supplying SOSE output. AFT was supported by NERC, NE/E013171/1. CW was supported by NERC through Oceans 2025 and NE/1001794/1. Amer geophysical union Washington
Additional Keywords: SOUTHERN OCEAN; EDDIES; FRONTS; ANTARCTIC CIRCUMPOLAR CURRENT
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 01 Mar 2011 16:15
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/13648

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