Section 27
Chapter 26,055

Upper-Ocean Hydrodynamics along Meridional Sections in the Southwest Indian Sector of the Southern Ocean during Austral Summer 2007

Alvarinho, J.L.; M.S.

Polar Science 3(1): 13-30


ISSN/ISBN: 1873-9652
DOI: 10.1016/j.polar.2009.03.001
Accession: 026054611

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This paper addresses analysis of surface meteorological and hydrographic data collected along the transects Durban–India Bay, Antarctica (Track-1) and Prydz Bay–Mauritius (Track-2) during February–March 2007 as part of the International Polar Year project (IPY#70). Strong winds (>12 m s−1) resulted in enhanced turbulent heat loss north of 45°S. Whereas a highly stable marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL) and strong winds facilitated the release of latent heat of condensation along Track-1, a highly unstable MABL and strong winds resulted in large turbulent heat loss from the sea surface along Track-2, in the 40–45°S belt. The northern and southern branches of Subantarctic Front on both tracks coalesce, while the Agulhas Retroflection Front (AF) and South Subtropical Front (SSTF) merge between 43° and 44°S on Track-2. The southern branch of the Polar Front (PF2) meanders 550 km southward towards the east. The Subtropical Surface Water, Central Water, and Mode Water are located north of 43.5°S, while the Subantarctic Surface Water, Antarctic Surface Water, Antarctic Intermediate Water, and Circumpolar Deep Water are encountered in the region of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). Baroclinic transport relative to 1000 db reveals that the ACC is enhanced by 10 × 106 m3 s−1 eastward, and a four-fold increase in transport occurs south of the ACC. Nearly 50% of the ACC transport occurs in the 100–500 m slab. We discuss the effects of the feedback of AC and hydrological fronts on the MABL.

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