Ocean Sci. Discuss., 8, 2479-2502, 2011
www.ocean-sci-discuss.net/8/2479/2011/
doi:10.5194/osd-8-2479-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in OS.
Transport of warm upper circumpolar deep water onto the Western Antarctic Peninsula Continental Shelf
D. G. Martinson
Division of Ocean and Climate Physics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY, 10964, USA
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Abstract. Five thermistor-moorings were placed on the continental shelf of the Western Antarctic Peninsula (between 2007 and 2010) in an effort to identify the mechanism(s) responsible for delivering warm Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW) onto the broad continental shelf from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) flowing over the adjacent continental slope. Historically, four mechanisms have been suggested (or assumed): (1) eddies shed from the ACC, (2) flow into the cross-shelf-cutting canyons with overflow onto the nominal shelf, (3) general upwelling, and (4) episodic sweeping of ACC meanders over the shelf. The mooring array showed that for the years of deployment, the dominant mechanism is eddies; upwelling may also contribute but to an unknown extent. Mechanisms 2 and 4 played no role, though the canyons have been shown previously to channel UCDW across the shelf into Marguerite Bay.

Citation: Martinson, D. G.: Transport of warm upper circumpolar deep water onto the Western Antarctic Peninsula Continental Shelf, Ocean Sci. Discuss., 8, 2479-2502, doi:10.5194/osd-8-2479-2011, 2011.
 
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