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Change in dense shelf water and Adelie land bottom water precipitated by iceberg calving


Snow, K and Rintoul, SR and Sloyan, BM and Hogg, AMC, Change in dense shelf water and Adelie land bottom water precipitated by iceberg calving, Geophysical Research Letters, 45, (5) pp. 2380-2387. ISSN 0094-8276 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2018 Commonwealth of Australia Journal American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1002/2017GL076195


Antarctic Bottom Water supplies the deep limb of the global overturning circulation and ventilates the abyssal ocean. Antarctic Bottom Water has warmed, freshened, and contracted in recent decades, but the causes remain poorly understood. We use unique multiyear observations from the continental shelf and deep ocean near the Mertz Polynya to examine the sensitivity of this bottom water formation region to changes on the continental shelf, including the calving of a large iceberg. Postcalving, the seasonal cycle of Dense Shelf Water (DSW) density almost halved in amplitude and the volume of DSW available for export reduced. In the deep ocean, the density and volume of Adelie Land Bottom Water decreased sharply after calving, while oxygen concentrations remained high, indicating continued ventilation by DSW. This natural experiment illustrates how local changes in forcing over the Antarctic continental shelf can drive large and rapid changes in the abyssal ocean.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctic bottom water, iceberg calving, dense shelf water, polynya, surface forcing
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
ID Code:131899
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2019-04-11
Last Modified:2019-05-13
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