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Direct observations of the Antarctic Slope Current transport at 113E

Citation

Pena-Molino, B and McCartney, MS and Rintoul, SR, Direct observations of the Antarctic Slope Current transport at 113 E, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121, (10) pp. 7390-7407. ISSN 2169-9275 (2016) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1002/2015JC011594

Abstract

The Antarctic Slope Current (ASC), defined here as the region of westward flow along the continental slope off Antarctica, forms the southern limb of the subpolar gyres. It regulates the exchange of water across the shelf break and provides a path for interbasin westward transport. Despite its significance, the ASC remains largely unobserved around most of the Antarctic continent. Here we present direct velocity observations from a 17 month current meter moored array deployed across the continental slope between the 1000 and the 4200 m isobaths, in the southeastern Indian Ocean near 113E. The observed time-mean flow consists of a surface-intensified jet associated with the Antarctic Slope Front (ASF) and a broader bottom-intensified westward flow that extends out to approximately the 4000 m isobath and is strongest along the upper slope. The time-mean transport of the ASC is −29.2 Sv. Fluctuations in the transport are large, typically exceeding the mean by a factor of 2. They are mainly due to changes in the northward extent of the current over the lower slope. However, seasonal changes in the wind also drive variations in the transport of the ASF and the flow in the upper slope. Both mean and variability are largely barotropic, thus invisible to traditional geostrophic methods.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctic Slope Front, Antarctic Circumpolar Current, circulation
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical Oceanography
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Other Environment
Objective Field:Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Oceanography
Author:Pena-Molino, B (Dr Beatriz Pena-Molino)
Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
ID Code:113778
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-01-20
Last Modified:2017-11-29
Downloads:12 View Download Statistics

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