Atlantic transport variability at 25°N in six hydrographic sections

Atkinson, C.P., Bryden, H.L., Cunningham, S.A. and King, B.A. (2012) Atlantic transport variability at 25°N in six hydrographic sections. Ocean Science, 8, (4), 497-523. (doi:10.5194/os-8-497-2012).


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In January and February 2010, a sixth transatlantic hydrographic section was completed across 25? N, extending the hydrographic record at this latitude to over half a century. In combination with continuous transport measurements made since 2004 at 26.5? N by the Rapid-WATCH project, we reassess transport variability in the 25?N hydrographic record. Past studies of transport variability at this latitude have assumed transport estimates from each hydrographic section to represent annual average conditions. In this study the uncertainty in this assumption is assessed through use of Rapid-WATCH observations to quantify subseasonal and seasonal transport variability. Whilst in the upper-ocean no significant interannual or decadal transport variability are identified in the hydrographic record, in the deep ocean transport variability in both depth and potential temperature classes suggests some interannual or decadal variability may have occurred. This is particularly striking in the lower North Atlantic DeepWater where southward transports prior to 1998 were greater than recent transports by several Sverdrups. Whilst a cooling and freshening of Denmark Straits OverflowWater has occurred which is coincident with these transport changes, these water mass changes appear to be density compensated. Transport changes are the result of changing velocity shear in the vicinity of the Deep Western Boundary Current.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.5194/os-8-497-2012
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions: Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences > Ocean and Earth Science > Physical Oceanography
National Oceanography Centre (NERC) > Marine Physics and Ocean Climate
ePrint ID: 343941
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2012 08:32
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:35

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