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Water mass export from Drake Passage to the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans: a Lagrangian model analysis

Water mass export from Drake Passage to the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans: a Lagrangian model analysis
Water mass export from Drake Passage to the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans: a Lagrangian model analysis
The northward export of intermediate water from Drake Passage is investigated in two global ocean general circulation models (GCMs) by means of quantitative particle tracing diagnostics. This study shows that a total of about 23 Sv (Sv ? 106 m3?s?1) is exported from Drake Passage to the equator. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are the main catchment basins with 7 and 15 Sv, respectively. Only 1–2 Sv of the water exported to the Atlantic equator follow the direct cold route from Drake Passage without entering the Indian Ocean. The remainder loops first into the Indian Ocean subtropical gyre and flows eventually into the Atlantic Ocean by Agulhas leakage. The authors assess the robustness of a theory that relates the export from Drake Passage to the equator to the wind stress over the Southern Ocean. Our GCM results are in reasonable agreement with the theory that predicts the total export. However, the theory cannot be applied to individual basins because of interocean exchanges through the “supergyre” mechanism and other nonlinear processes such as the Agulhas rings. The export of water from Drake Passage starts mainly as an Ekman flow just northward of the latitude band of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current south of South America. Waters quickly subduct and are transferred to the ocean interior as they travel equatorward. They flow along the eastern boundaries in the Sverdrup interior and cross the southern basins northwestward to reach the equator within the western boundary current systems.
0022-3670
1206-1222
Friocourt, Yann
c08f824b-6499-4d99-8518-0fe706677413
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Blanke, Bruno
b223bcd4-5fcf-4d9b-bf36-f21675932e14
Speich, Sabrina
b96aaa4e-9c98-4598-b29e-59efc8edff51
Friocourt, Yann
c08f824b-6499-4d99-8518-0fe706677413
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Blanke, Bruno
b223bcd4-5fcf-4d9b-bf36-f21675932e14
Speich, Sabrina
b96aaa4e-9c98-4598-b29e-59efc8edff51

Friocourt, Yann, Drijfhout, Sybren, Blanke, Bruno and Speich, Sabrina (2005) Water mass export from Drake Passage to the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans: a Lagrangian model analysis. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 35 (7), 1206-1222. (doi:10.1175/JPO2748.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The northward export of intermediate water from Drake Passage is investigated in two global ocean general circulation models (GCMs) by means of quantitative particle tracing diagnostics. This study shows that a total of about 23 Sv (Sv ? 106 m3?s?1) is exported from Drake Passage to the equator. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are the main catchment basins with 7 and 15 Sv, respectively. Only 1–2 Sv of the water exported to the Atlantic equator follow the direct cold route from Drake Passage without entering the Indian Ocean. The remainder loops first into the Indian Ocean subtropical gyre and flows eventually into the Atlantic Ocean by Agulhas leakage. The authors assess the robustness of a theory that relates the export from Drake Passage to the equator to the wind stress over the Southern Ocean. Our GCM results are in reasonable agreement with the theory that predicts the total export. However, the theory cannot be applied to individual basins because of interocean exchanges through the “supergyre” mechanism and other nonlinear processes such as the Agulhas rings. The export of water from Drake Passage starts mainly as an Ekman flow just northward of the latitude band of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current south of South America. Waters quickly subduct and are transferred to the ocean interior as they travel equatorward. They flow along the eastern boundaries in the Sverdrup interior and cross the southern basins northwestward to reach the equator within the western boundary current systems.

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Published date: 2005
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 349164
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/349164
ISSN: 0022-3670
PURE UUID: c461c053-2440-4fd7-a88e-82eb1b25e15c

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Date deposited: 26 Feb 2013 11:08
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 10:58

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Contributors

Author: Yann Friocourt
Author: Bruno Blanke
Author: Sabrina Speich

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