Suppression of bottom water formation in the southeastern Weddell sea

E. Fahrbach, R. G. Peterson, G. Rohardt, Peter Schlosser, R. Bayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The lack of bottom water formation in the southeastern Weddel Sea is investigated on the basis of CTD, current meter, and oxygen isotope data obtained in 1986 during the Winter Weddell Sea Project and in summer 1989 during the European Polastern Study. The principal underlying factor in suppressing the formation of bottom water is the narrow continental shelf in the region. This leads to two consequences not obtained in the western Weddel Sea: (1) the coastal polynya is able to extend out well over deep water and over th eswift-moving Antarctic Coastal Current, which acts to inhibit the acculmulation of salt released freezing in the polynya; and (2) the upper portions of Warm Deep Water come into close proximity with the glacial ice shelf floating above the continental shelf, thus providing heat for melting at the base of the ice shelf. Budgets for heat and salt derived from the winter data, along with measurements of δ18O, indicate that this melting occurs at rates more than sufficient to compensate the combined effects of brine released by freezing in the polynya and the upward flux of salt from the Warm Deep Water. As a result, the Eastern Sshelf Water cannot acquire the salt concentrations needed fopr the formation of bottom water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-411
Number of pages23
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

polynya
bottom water
salt
deep water
ice shelf
warm water
freezing
continental shelf
melting
water
coastal current
salts
winter
brine
oxygen isotope
heat
water currents
glaciers
sea
salt concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Suppression of bottom water formation in the southeastern Weddell sea. / Fahrbach, E.; Peterson, R. G.; Rohardt, G.; Schlosser, Peter; Bayer, R.

In: Deep-Sea Research Part I, Vol. 41, No. 2, 01.01.1994, p. 389-411.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fahrbach, E. ; Peterson, R. G. ; Rohardt, G. ; Schlosser, Peter ; Bayer, R. / Suppression of bottom water formation in the southeastern Weddell sea. In: Deep-Sea Research Part I. 1994 ; Vol. 41, No. 2. pp. 389-411.
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