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Winter-time oceanography of the Adelie Depression


Williams, GD and Bindoff, NL, Winter-time oceanography of the Adelie Depression, Deep-Sea Research ll, 50, (8-9) pp. 1373-1392. ISSN 0967-0645 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S0967-0645(03)00074-2


The formation of high-salinity shelf waters beneath coastal polynyas from enhanced sea-ice production and brine rejection during wintertime is critical to the production of Antarctic Bottom Waters. We report on the first wintertime measurements of high-salinity shelf water formation over the Adélie Depression off the East Antarctic coast between 143° and 146°E, during the Mertz Glacier Polynya Experiment in July-August 1999. The general circulation and evolution of water masses in the Adélie Depression during winter are described, and in particular we quantify the rates of brine rejection (sea-ice growth), ocean heat flux, and latent heat flux, in the Mertz polynya central to the formation of high-salinity shelf waters. We find shelf waters above the minimum sill depth with sufficient density to become Adélie Land Bottom Water and suggest the highest production rates occur near Commonwealth Bay. Sea-ice growth and heat transfer rates are calculated from the divergence of heat and freshwater fields around a closed volume beneath the Mertz polynya. The sea-ice growth estimates and associated Monte Carlo errors are found to range from 4.8±1.7, 4.1±1.5, 8.4±1.7 cm d-1, respectively, over a 3-week period. The average growth rate is 5.8 cm d-1. Near the Mertz polynya the sensible heat from ocean transport is between 15 ± 6 and 43 ± 11 W m-2, with an average of 30 W m-2, and the latent heat budget is between 125 ± 45 and 254 ± 52 W m-2, with an average of 174 W m-2. We conclude that during winter the Mertz polynya is primarily a latent heat polynya. Crown Copyright © 2003 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Social impacts of climate change and variability
UTAS Author:Williams, GD (Associate Professor Guy Williams)
UTAS Author:Bindoff, NL (Professor Nathan Bindoff)
ID Code:34696
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:64
Deposited By:IASOS
Deposited On:2005-07-28
Last Modified:2009-04-06

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