Title Observations of the Antarctic slope undercurrent in the southeastern Weddell Sea
Author Chavanne, C.P.; Heywood, K.J.; Nicholls, K.W.; Fer, I.
Author Affil Chavanne, C.P., University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences, Norwich, United Kingdom. Other: British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom; University of Bergen, Norway
Source Geophysical Research Letters, 37(13), Citation L13601. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0094-8276
Publication Date 2010
Notes In English. 30 refs. Ant. Acc. No: 91645. GeoRef Acc. No: 310663
Index Terms glacial geology; ice shelves; ocean environments; ocean currents; ocean bottom; salinity; temperature; velocity; wind velocity; Southern Ocean--Weddell Sea; acoustic Doppler current profiler data; bathymetry; bottom currents; continental slope; currents; marine environment; ocean floors; shelf environment; shelf waters; Southern Ocean; thermohaline circulation; Weddell Sea; winds
Abstract The Antarctic Slope Front presents a dynamical barrier between the cold Antarctic shelf waters in contact with ice shelves and the warmer subsurface waters offshore. Two hydrographic sections with full-depth current measurements were undertaken in January and February 2009 across the slope and shelf in the southeastern Weddell Sea. Southwestward surface-intensified currents of ~30 cm s-1, and northeastward undercurrents of 6-9 cm s- 1, were in thermal-wind balance with the sloping isopycnals across the front, which migrated offshore by 30 km in the time interval between the two sections. A mid- depth undercurrent on February 23 was associated with a 130-m uplift of the main pycnocline, bringing Warm Deep Water closer to the shelf break. This vertical displacement, comparable to that caused by seasonal variations in wind speed, implies that undercurrents may affect the exchanges between coastal and deep waters near the Antarctic continental margins.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1029/2010GL043603
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 66000012