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An exchange window for the Injection of Antarctic Intermediate Water into the South Pacific

Iudicone, Daniele; Rodgers, Keith B.; Schopp, Richard; Madec, Gurvan. 2007 An exchange window for the Injection of Antarctic Intermediate Water into the South Pacific. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 37 (1). 31-49. 10.1175/JPO2985.1

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Abstract/Summary

Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) occupies the intermediate horizon of most of the world oceans. Formed in the Southern Ocean, it is characterized by a relative salinity minimum. With a new, denser in situ National Oceanographic Data Center dataset, the authors have reanalyzed the export characteristics of AAIW from the Southern Ocean into the South Pacific Ocean. These new data show that part of the AAIW is exported from the subpolar frontal region by the large-scale circulation through an exchange window of 10° width situated east of 90°W in the southeast corner of the Pacific basin. This suggests the origin of this water to be in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. A set of numerical modeling experiments has been used to reproduce these observed features and to demonstrate that the dynamics of the exchange window is controlled by the basin-scale meridional pressure gradient. The exchange of AAIW between the Southern and Pacific Oceans must therefore be understood in the context of the large basin-scale dynamical balance rather than simply local effects.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1175/JPO2985.1
ISSN: 0022-3670
Date made live: 10 Dec 2008 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/164343

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