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Dense waters of the Weddell and Scotia Seas: recent changes in properties and circulation

Dense waters of the Weddell and Scotia Seas: recent changes in properties and circulation
Dense waters of the Weddell and Scotia Seas: recent changes in properties and circulation
The densest waters in the Atlantic overturning circulation are sourced at the periphery of Antarctica, especially the Weddell Sea, and flow northward via routes that involve crossing the complex bathymetry of the Scotia Arc. Recent observations of significant warming of these waters along much of the length of the Atlantic have highlighted the need to identify and understand the time-varying formation and export processes, and the controls on their properties and flows. Here, we review recent developments in understanding of the processes that control the changing flux of water through the main export route from the Weddell Sea into the Scotia Sea, and the transformations of the waters within the Scotia Sea and environs. We also present a synopsis of recent findings that relate to the climatic change of dense water properties within the Weddell Sea itself, in the context of known Atlantic-scale changes. Among the most significant findings are the discovery that the warming of waters exported from the Weddell Sea has been accompanied by a significant freshening, and that the episodic nature of the overflow into the Scotia Sea is markedly wind-controlled and can lead to significantly enhanced abyssal stratification. Key areas for focusing future research effort are outlined.
Antarctic Bottom Water, dense water export, overturning circulation, abyssal mixing
1364-503X
20130041
Meredith, M.P.
e750017c-3619-4103-8a9a-dd299173e42b
Jullion, L.
de015ebb-edbc-4626-815b-3b63509a10ce
Brown, P.J.
e3445ac8-bf22-405c-8295-479816d6196f
Naveira Garabato, A.C.
97c0e923-f076-4b38-b89b-938e11cea7a6
Couldrey, M.P.
6b23c29c-6b7e-41e6-ab8e-fbc9789356f8
Meredith, M.P.
e750017c-3619-4103-8a9a-dd299173e42b
Jullion, L.
de015ebb-edbc-4626-815b-3b63509a10ce
Brown, P.J.
e3445ac8-bf22-405c-8295-479816d6196f
Naveira Garabato, A.C.
97c0e923-f076-4b38-b89b-938e11cea7a6
Couldrey, M.P.
6b23c29c-6b7e-41e6-ab8e-fbc9789356f8

Meredith, M.P., Jullion, L., Brown, P.J., Naveira Garabato, A.C. and Couldrey, M.P. (2014) Dense waters of the Weddell and Scotia Seas: recent changes in properties and circulation. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A, 372 (2019), 20130041. (doi:10.1098/rsta.2013.0041).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The densest waters in the Atlantic overturning circulation are sourced at the periphery of Antarctica, especially the Weddell Sea, and flow northward via routes that involve crossing the complex bathymetry of the Scotia Arc. Recent observations of significant warming of these waters along much of the length of the Atlantic have highlighted the need to identify and understand the time-varying formation and export processes, and the controls on their properties and flows. Here, we review recent developments in understanding of the processes that control the changing flux of water through the main export route from the Weddell Sea into the Scotia Sea, and the transformations of the waters within the Scotia Sea and environs. We also present a synopsis of recent findings that relate to the climatic change of dense water properties within the Weddell Sea itself, in the context of known Atlantic-scale changes. Among the most significant findings are the discovery that the warming of waters exported from the Weddell Sea has been accompanied by a significant freshening, and that the episodic nature of the overflow into the Scotia Sea is markedly wind-controlled and can lead to significantly enhanced abyssal stratification. Key areas for focusing future research effort are outlined.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2 June 2014
Keywords: Antarctic Bottom Water, dense water export, overturning circulation, abyssal mixing
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Physical Oceanography

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 365544
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/365544
ISSN: 1364-503X
PURE UUID: 504f70c0-0a4b-47ef-8781-9c94c73e601d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jun 2014 14:31
Last modified: 05 Mar 2019 17:32

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