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Antarctic BottomWater production by intense sea-ice formation in the Cape Darnley polynya
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2013 (English)In: Nature Geoscience, ISSN 1752-0894, Vol. 6, no 3, 235-240 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The formation of Antarctic Bottom Water-the cold, dense water that occupies the abyssal layer of the global ocean-is a key process in global ocean circulation. This water mass is formed as dense shelf water sinks to depth. Three regions around Antarctica where this process takes place have been previously documented. The presence of another source has been identified in hydrographic and tracer data, although the site of formation is not well constrained. Here we document the formation of dense shelf water in the Cape Darnley polynya (65 degrees -69 degrees E) and its subsequent transformation into bottom water using data from moorings and instrumented elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). Unlike the previously identified sources of Antarctic Bottom Water, which require the presence of an ice shelf or a large storage volume, bottom water production at the Cape Darnley polynya is driven primarily by the flux of salt released by sea-ice formation. We estimate that about 0.3-0.7 x 10(6) m(3) s(-1) of dense shelf water produced by the Cape Darnley polynya is transformed into Antarctic BottomWater. The transformation of this water mass, which we term Cape Darnley BottomWater, accounts for 6-13% of the circumpolar total.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 6, no 3, 235-240 p.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-90198DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1738ISI: 000316945800027OAI: diva2:623717


Available from: 2013-05-28 Created: 2013-05-28 Last updated: 2013-05-29Bibliographically approved

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Roquet, Fabien
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Department of Meteorology
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