Circulation of the Antarctic Margins


The subpolar circulation of the Southern Ocean, comprising that region south of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, is a key component of the climate system. It is a region of strong water mass modification, critical for the closure of the global overturning circulation. Both large-scale gyres and strong boundary currents found along the continental shelf and continental slope act to modulate the delivery of warm water towards floating ice shelves that buffer the Antarctic ice sheets. Through a combination of numerical and observational studies, our work has shown that mesoscale variability plays a key role in influencing the transport of warm deep waters towards the Antarctic continent.

Related Publications:

Stewart, A.L. & A.F. Thompson, 2016. Eddy generation and jet formation on the Antarctic continental slope. J. Phys. Oceanogr., in press.

Zhang, X., A.F. Thompson, M.M. Flexas, F. Roquet & H. Borneman, 2016. Circulation and meltwater distribution in the Bellingshausen Sea: from shelf break to coast. Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 6402-6409.

Youngs, M.K., A.F. Thompson, M.M. Flexas & K.J. Heywood, 2015. Weddell Sea export pathways from surface drifters. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 45, 1068-1085.

Stewart, A.L. & A.F. Thompson, 2015. Eddy-mediated transport of warm Circumpolar Deep Water across the Antarctic shelf break. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 432-440.

Schmidtko, S., K.J. Heywood, A.F. Thompson & S. Aoki, 2014. Multi-decadal warming of Antarctic waters. Science, 346, 1227-1231.

Thompson, A.F., K.J. Heywood, S. Schmidtko & A.L. Stewart, 2014. Eddy transport as a key component of the Antarctic overturning circulation. Nat. Geosci., 7, 879-884.

Heywood, K.J., S. Schmidtko, C. Heuze, J. Kaiser, T.D. Jickells, B.Y. Queste, D.P. Stevens, M. Wadley, A.F. Thompson, S. Fielding, D. Guihen, E. Creed, J.K. Ridley, W. Smith, 2014. Ocean processes at the Antarctic continental slope. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A, 372, 20130047.

Su, Z., A.L. Stewart & A.F. Thompson, 2014. An idealized model of Weddell Gyre export variability. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 44, 1671-1688.

Thompson, A.F. & M.K. Youngs, 2013. Surface exchange between the Weddell and Scotia Seas. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, L058114.

Stewart, A.L. & A.F. Thompson, 2013. Connecting Antarctic cross-slope exchange with Southern Ocean overturning. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 43, 1453-1471.

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