Variability of the Ross Gyre, Southern Ocean: drivers and responses revealed by satellite altimetry

Dotto, Tiago S.; Naveira Garabato, Alberto; Bacon, Sheldon ORCID:; Tsamados, Michel; Holland, Paul R. ORCID:; Hooley, Jack; Frajka-Williams, Eleanor ORCID:; Ridout, Andy; Meredith, Michael P. ORCID: 2018 Variability of the Ross Gyre, Southern Ocean: drivers and responses revealed by satellite altimetry. Geophysical Research Letters, 45 (12). 6195-6204.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
©2018. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Dotto_et_al-2018-Geophysical_Research_Letters.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (3MB) | Preview


Year‐round variability in the Ross Gyre (RG), Antarctica, during 2011‐2015, is derived using radar altimetry. The RG is characterized by a bounded recirculating component, and a westward ‘throughflow’ to the south. Two modes of variability of the sea‐surface height (SSH) and ocean surface stress curl are revealed. The first represents a large‐scale SSH change forced by the Antarctic Oscillation. The second represents semiannual variability in gyre area and strength, driven by fluctuations in sea level pressure associated with the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL). Variability in the throughflow is also linked to the ASL. An adequate description of the oceanic circulation is achieved only when sea ice drag is accounted for in the ocean surface stress. The drivers of RG variability elucidated here have significant implications for our understanding of the oceanic forcing of Antarctic Ice Sheet melting, and for the downstream propagation of its ocean freshening footprint.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00948276
Date made live: 20 Jun 2018 10:57 +0 (UTC)

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...