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Antarctic Circumpolar Current impacts on internal wave life cycles


Waterman, S and Meyer, A and Polzin, KL and Naveira Garabato, AC and Sheen, KL, Antarctic Circumpolar Current impacts on internal wave life cycles, Geophysical Research Letters, 48, (8) Article e2020GL089471. ISSN 0094-8276 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2021 American Geophysical Union. To view the published open abstract, go to

DOI: doi:10.1029/2020GL089471


Major gaps exist in our understanding of the pathways between internal wave generation and breaking in the Southern Ocean, with important implications for the distribution of internal wave‐driven mixing, the sensitivity of ocean mixing rates and patterns to changes in the ocean environment, and the necessary ingredients of mixing parameterizations. Here we assess the dominant processes in internal wave evolution by characterizing wave and mesoscale flow scales based on full‐depth in situ measurements in a Southern Ocean mixing hot spot and a ray tracing calculation. The exercise highlights the importance of Antarctic Circumpolar Current jets as a dominant influence on internal wave life cycles through advection, the modification of wave characteristics via wave‐mean flow interactions, and the set‐up of critical layers for both upward‐ and downward‐propagating waves. Our findings suggest that it is important to represent mesoscale flow impacts in parameterizations of internal wave‐driven mixing in the Southern Ocean.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:internal waves, Southern Ocean, mesoscale, ray tracing, parameterization, wavefield, ocean circulation, ocean mixing, Antarctic Circumpolar Current
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Meyer, A (Dr Amelie Meyer)
ID Code:144212
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (CE170100023)
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2021-04-29
Last Modified:2022-08-24
Downloads:15 View Download Statistics

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