nerc.ac.uk

Wind-driven export of Weddell Sea slope water

Meijers, A.J.S.; Meredith, M.P.; Abrahamsen, E.P.; Maqueda, M.A.M.; Jones, D.C.; Naveira Garabato, A.C.. 2016 Wind-driven export of Weddell Sea slope water. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121 (10). 7530-7546. 10.1002/2016JC011757

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
[img]
Preview
Text
Copyright American Geophysical Union
Meijers_et_al-2016-Journal_of_Geophysical_Research__Oceans.pdf - Published Version

Download (6MB) | Preview

Abstract/Summary

The export of waters from the Weddell Gyre to lower latitudes is an integral component of the southern subpolar contribution to the three-dimensional oceanic circulation. Here we use more than 20 years of repeat hydrographic data on the continental slope on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and 5 years of bottom lander data on the slope at 1000 m to show the intermittent presence of a relatively cold, fresh, westward flowing current. This is often bottom-intensified between 600 and 2000 dbar with velocities of over 20 cm s−1, transporting an average of 1.5 ± 1.5 Sv. By comparison with hydrography on the continental slope within the Weddell Sea and modeled tracer release experiments we show that this slope current is an extension of the Antarctic Slope Current that has crossed the South Scotia Ridge west of Orkney Plateau. On monthly to interannual time scales the density of the slope current is negatively correlated (r > 0.6 with a significance of over 95%) with eastward wind stress over the northern Weddell Sea, but lagging it by 6–13 months. This relationship holds in both the high temporal resolution bottom lander time series and the 20+ year annual hydrographic occupations and agrees with Weddell Sea export variability observed further east. We compare several alternative hypotheses for this wind stress/export relationship and find that it is most consistent with wind-driven acceleration of the gyre boundary current, possibly modulated by eddy dynamics, and represents a mechanism by which climatic perturbations can be rapidly transmitted as fluctuations in the supply of intermediate-level waters to lower latitudes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/2016JC011757
Programmes: BAS Programmes > BAS Programmes 2015 > Polar Oceans
ISSN: 21699275
Additional Keywords: Weddell Sea, slope current, Antarctic, Circumpolar Current
Date made live: 25 Oct 2016 12:22 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/514915

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...