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Widespread freshening in the Seasonal Ice Zone near 140°E off the Adélie Land Coast, Antarctica, from 1994 to 2012


Aoki, S and Kitade, Y and Shimada, K and Ohshima, KI and Tamura, T and Bajish, CC and Moteki, M and Rintoul, SR, Widespread freshening in the Seasonal Ice Zone near 140°E off the Adélie Land Coast, Antarctica, from 1994 to 2012, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 118, (11) pp. 6046-6063. ISSN 2169-9275 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1002/2013JC009009


Long-term water mass changes during 1994-2012 are examined from nine repeat hydrographic sections in the Seasonal Ice Zone along 140°E, off Antarctica. Significant freshening trends are detected within most of the water masses from the bottom to surface. Bottom Water freshened by 0.008-0.009 decade -1 below isopycnal surfaces and its layer thickness decreased by 120-160 dbar decade-1 throughout the study period. In addition to general thinning, the layer thickness was anomalously thin in 2012, suggesting a possible link with the sudden calving of the Mertz Glacier Tongue and subsequent reduction in sea-ice production. Winter Water freshened by 0.03 decade-1 throughout the study period, with significant interannual variability. In the offshore region, a long-term increase in precipitation can explain a substantial portion of the freshening trend. The Lower Circumpolar Deep Water on the continental slope underwent freshening at the same rate as the Bottom Water during the last two decades. Modified Shelf Water also shows robust freshening at a rate of 0.03 decade-1. Combined with the freshening of near-surface and Bottom Water masses in this region, these data indicate freshening of the entire water column over the continental slope. This widespread freshening is broadly consistent with the enhancement of the global hydrological cycle, together with a possible acceleration of land ice melting. Key Points Antarctic Bottom Water freshened off Adelie Coast, Antarctica, during 1994-2012 Precipitation increase can cause a significant part of Winter Water freshening The freshening is consistent with the enhancement of global hydrological cycle ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:freshening, Antarctic Bottom Water, Winter Water, global hydrological cycle, freshwater flux
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Measurement and assessment of estuarine water quality
UTAS Author:Aoki, S (Dr Shigeru Aoki)
UTAS Author:Tamura, T (Dr Takeshi Tamura)
UTAS Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
ID Code:88755
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2014-02-13
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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