Flow of bottom water in the northwestern Weddell Sea

Fahrbach, Eberhard, Harms, Sabine, Rohardt, G., Schroeder, M. and Woodgate, R.A. (2001) Flow of bottom water in the northwestern Weddell Sea Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 106 . pp. 2761-2778. DOI 10.1029/2000JC900142.

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Abstract

The Weddell Sea is known to feed recently formed deep and bottom water into the Antarctic circumpolar water belt, from whence it spreads into the basins of the world ocean. The rates are still a matter of debate. To quantify the flow of bottom water in the northwestern Weddell Sea data obtained during five cruises with R/V Polarstern between October 1989 and May 1998 were used. During the cruises in the Weddell Sea, five hydrographic surveys were carried out to measure water mass properties, and moored instruments were deployed over a time period of 8.5 years to obtain quasi-continuous time series. The average flow in the bottom water plume in the northwestern Weddell Sea deduced from the combined conductivity-temperature-depth and moored observations is 1.3±0.4 Sv. Intensive fluctuations of a wide range of timescales including annual and interannual variations are superimposed. The variations are partly induced by fluctuations in the formation rates and partly by current velocity fluctuations related to the large-scale circulation. Taking into account entrainment of modified Warm Deep Water and Weddell Sea Deep Water during the descent of the plume along the slope, between 0.5 Sv and 1.3 Sv of surface-ventilated water is supplied to the deep sea. This is significantly less than the widely accepted ventilation rates of the deep sea. If there are no other significant sources of newly ventilated water in the Weddell Sea, either the dominant role of Weddell Sea Bottom Water in the Southern Ocean or the global ventilation rates have to be reconsidered.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: AWI
OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2000JC900142
ISSN: 2169-9275
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2017 13:32
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/5641

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