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Vertical transport in the ocean due to sub-mesoscale structures: impacts in the Kerguelen region


Rosso, I and Hogg, A McC and Strutton, PG and Kiss, AE and Matear, R and Klocker, A and van Sebille, E, Vertical transport in the ocean due to sub-mesoscale structures: impacts in the Kerguelen region, Ocean Modelling, 80 pp. 10-23. ISSN 1463-5003 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2014.05.001


The summertime phytoplankton bloom near the Kerguelen Plateau is in marked contrast to the low-chlorophyll conditions typical of the Southern Ocean and is thought to arise from natural iron fertilisation. The mechanisms of iron supply to the euphotic zone in this region are poorly understood, and numerical studies of iron transport have until now omitted fine-scale (sub-mesoscale) dynamics which have been shown to significantly increase vertical transport in other parts of the ocean.

We present the first sub-mesoscale-resolving study of the flow and vertical transport in this region. The modelled transport and flow structure agree well with observations. We find that an increase in horizontal resolution from mesoscale-resolving (1/20) to 1/80 resolves sub-mesoscale filamentary frontal structures in which vertical velocities are dramatically higher and are consistent with available observations. Lagrangian tracking shows that water is advected to the surface from much greater depth in the sub-mesoscale-resolving experiment, and that vertical exchange is far more rapid and frequent. This study of sub-mesoscale vertical velocities sets the foundation for subsequent investigation of iron transport in this environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:oceanography, sub-mesoscale
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Strutton, PG (Professor Peter Strutton)
UTAS Author:Klocker, A (Dr Andreas Klocker)
ID Code:98173
Year Published:2014
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (CE1101028)
Web of Science® Times Cited:54
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-02-04
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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