Project Information
Collaborative Research: Anslope, Cross-slope Exchanges at the Antarctic Slope Front
Start Date:
End Date:
This study will investigate how the Antarctic Slope Front and continental slope morphology determine the exchanges of mass, heat, and fresh water between the shelf and the deep ocean, in particular those leading to outflows of dense water into intermediate and deep layers of the adjacent basins and into the world ocean circulation
While the importance to the global ocean circulation and climate of cold water masses originating in the Antarctic is unquestioned, the processes by which these water masses enter the deep ocean circulation are not. The primary goal of this work therefore is to identify the principal physical processes that govern the transfer of shelf-modified dense water into intermediate and deep layers of the adjacent deep ocean. At the same time, it seeks to understand the compensatory poleward flow of waters from the oceanic regime. The upper continental slope has been identified as the critical gateway for the exchange of shelf and deep ocean waters. Here the topography, velocity and density fields associated with the nearly ubiquitous front must strongly influence the advective and turbulent transfer of water properties between the shelf and oceanic regimes. The study has four specific objectives: [1] Determine the mean frontal structure and the principal scales of variability, and estimate the role of the front on cross-slope exchanges and mixing of adjacent water masses; [2] Determine the influence of slope topography and bathymetry on frontal location and outflow of dense Shelf Water; [3] Establish the role of frontal instabilities, benthic boundary layer transports, tides and other oscillatory processes on cross-slope advection and fluxes; and [4] Assess the effect of diapycnal mixing, lateral mixing identified through intrusions, and nonlinearities in the equation of state on the rate of descent and the fate of outflowing, near-freezing Shelf Water.
Person Role
Gordon, Arnold Investigator
Unknown Program Award # 0125172
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Deployment Type
NBP0302 ship expedition
NBP0408 ship expedition
NBP0304C ship expedition
NBP0304D ship expedition
NBP0501 ship expedition
NBP0402 ship expedition
Data Management Plan
None in the Database