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

Variability of the Ross Gyre, Southern Ocean: drivers and responses revealed by satellite altimetry
Variability of the Ross Gyre, Southern Ocean: drivers and responses revealed by satellite altimetry
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 and ocean surface stress curl are revealed. The first represents a large‐scale sea surface height 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. Variability in the throughflow is also linked to the Amundsen Sea Low. 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.
0094-8276
Dotto, Tiago S.
437639c6-9c67-4c83-ace3-bb490a2f44d7
Naveira Garabato, Alberto
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Bacon, Sheldon
1e7aa6e3-4fb4-4230-8ba7-90837304a9a7
Tsamados, Michel
c206a0fe-e2c2-4853-9d71-4d3d9c882af5
Holland, Paul R.
1288654c-2b5b-4d4c-b360-7eebe59c7539
Hooley, Jack
fc79a6b9-4c70-486a-9280-548d925d6945
Frajka-Williams, Eleanor
da86044e-0f68-4cc9-8f60-7fdbc4dc19cb
Ridout, Andy
5ee88710-4e33-42f6-9a24-4c7987e65869
Meredith, Michael P.
25fd5f1c-f3ed-40a2-af59-5a7074a25fcd
Dotto, Tiago S.
437639c6-9c67-4c83-ace3-bb490a2f44d7
Naveira Garabato, Alberto
97c0e923-f076-4b38-b89b-938e11cea7a6
Bacon, Sheldon
1e7aa6e3-4fb4-4230-8ba7-90837304a9a7
Tsamados, Michel
c206a0fe-e2c2-4853-9d71-4d3d9c882af5
Holland, Paul R.
1288654c-2b5b-4d4c-b360-7eebe59c7539
Hooley, Jack
fc79a6b9-4c70-486a-9280-548d925d6945
Frajka-Williams, Eleanor
da86044e-0f68-4cc9-8f60-7fdbc4dc19cb
Ridout, Andy
5ee88710-4e33-42f6-9a24-4c7987e65869
Meredith, Michael P.
25fd5f1c-f3ed-40a2-af59-5a7074a25fcd

Dotto, Tiago S., Naveira Garabato, Alberto, Bacon, Sheldon, Tsamados, Michel, Holland, Paul R., Hooley, Jack, Frajka-Williams, Eleanor, Ridout, Andy and Meredith, Michael P. (2018) Variability of the Ross Gyre, Southern Ocean: drivers and responses revealed by satellite altimetry. Geophysical Research Letters. (doi:10.1029/2018GL078607).

Record type: Article

Abstract

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 and ocean surface stress curl are revealed. The first represents a large‐scale sea surface height 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. Variability in the throughflow is also linked to the Amundsen Sea Low. 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.

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Accepted/In Press date: 6 June 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 June 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421907
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421907
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: 5949c04c-b738-4881-887a-572c6acf3caa
ORCID for Eleanor Frajka-Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8773-7838

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Date deposited: 09 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 27 Jan 2020 13:43

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Contributors

Author: Tiago S. Dotto
Author: Sheldon Bacon
Author: Michel Tsamados
Author: Paul R. Holland
Author: Jack Hooley
Author: Eleanor Frajka-Williams ORCID iD
Author: Andy Ridout
Author: Michael P. Meredith

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