Circulation and Stirring in the Southeast Pacific Ocean and the Scotia Sea Sectors of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current

(Balwada, Dhruv and Speer, Kevin G. and LaCasce, Joseph H. and Owens, W. Brechner and Marshall, John and Ferrari, Raffaele), Journal of Physical Oceanography, vol. 46, pp. pages, 2016.


AbstractThe large-scale mid-depth circulation and eddy diffusivities in the Southeast Pacific Ocean and Scotia Sea sectors between 110$,^circ$W and 45$,^circ$W of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) are described based on a subsurface quasi-isobaric RAFOS float based Lagrangian dataset. This RAFOS float data was collected during the Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean (DIMES). The mean flow, adjusted to a common 1400m depth, shows the presence of jets in the time-averaged sense with speeds of 6cm/s in the Southeast Pacific Ocean and upwards of 13cm/s in the Scotia Sea. These jets appear to be locked to topography in the Scotia Sea but, aside from negotiating a seamount chain, are mostly free of local topographic constraints in the Southeast Pacific Ocean. The EKE is higher than the MKE everywhere in the sampled domain by about 50%. The magnitude of the EKE increases drastically (by a factor of 2 or more) as the current crosses over the Hero Fracture Zone and Shackleton Fracture Zone into…

doi = 10.1175/JPO-D-15-0207.1

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