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Strong export of Antarctic Bottom Water east of the Kerguelen plateau


Fukamachi, Y and Rintoul, SR and Church, JA and Aoki, S and Sokolov, S and Rosenberg, MA and Wakatsuchi, M, Strong export of Antarctic Bottom Water east of the Kerguelen plateau, Nature Geoscience, 3, (5) pp. 327-331. ISSN 1752-0894 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1038/NGEO842


The primary paths for the transport of Antarctic Bottom Water from the Southern Ocean into the global ocean are the deep western boundary currents east of the Antarctic Peninsula and the Kerguelen plateau(1). Previous ship-based observations documented distinct water properties and velocities associated with a deep western boundary current in the Kerguelen region(2-7), but the mean flow is as yet unconstrained. Here we report measurements from a coherent array of eight current-meter moorings that reveal a narrow and intense equatorward flow extending throughout the water column just east of the Kerguelen plateau. Velocities averaged over two years exceed 20 cm s(-1) at depths of about 3,500 m, the strongest mean deep western boundary current flow yet observed at similar depths. We estimate the mean equatorward transport of water colder than 0 degrees C at 12.3 +/- 1.2 x 10(6) m(3) s(-1), partially compensated by poleward flow. We also estimate the net equatorward flow of water colder than 0.2 degrees C at about 8 x 10(6) m(3) s(-1), substantially higher than the 1.9 x 10(6) m(3) s(-1) reported from the boundary current that carries dense water from the Weddell Sea into the Atlantic Ocean north of the Falkland plateau(8). We conclude that the Kerguelen deep western boundary current is a significant pathway of the global ocean's deep overturning circulation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes
UTAS Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
UTAS Author:Church, JA (Dr John Church)
UTAS Author:Sokolov, S (Dr Serguei Sokolov)
UTAS Author:Rosenberg, MA (Mr Mark Rosenberg)
ID Code:71313
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:44
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2011-07-13
Last Modified:2012-07-04

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