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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-99
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-99
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 11 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 11 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

Dynamical Connections between Large Marine Ecosystems of Austral South America based on numerical simulations

Karen Guihou1,2,a, Alberto R. Piola1,3, Elbio D. Palma2,5, and Maria Paz Chidichimo1,2,4 Karen Guihou et al.
  • 1Servicio de Hidrografía Naval, Buenos Aires
  • 2Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)
  • 3Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 4Instituto Franco-Argentino para el Estudio del Clima y sus Impactos (UMI-IFAECI/CNRS-CONICET-UBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 5Departamento de Física, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahıía Blanca, Argentina
  • acurrently at: NoLogin Consulting, Spain

Abstract. The Humboldt Large Marine Ecosystem (HLME) and Patagonian Large Marine Ecosystem (PLME) are the two largest marine ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere, respectively located along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of southern America. This work investigates the exchange between these two LMEs and its variability, employing numerical model results and offline particle tracking algorithms. 27 years of a 1/12° ROMS configuration (CMM) show a general poleward transport on the Southern region of HLME, and equatorward on the Patagonian Shelf (PS). A mean transport across Cape Horn's shelf (68.1° W) is 0.95 Sv.

Lagrangian simulations show that the majority of the southern PS waters originate from the upper layer in the southeast South Pacific (> 200 m), mainly from the southern Chile and Cape Horn shelves. The exchange takes place through Le Maire Strait, Magellan Strait, and the shelf-break. These inflows account to a net northeastward transport of 0.88 Sv at 51° S in the southern PLME. The transport across Magellan strait is small (0.1 Sv) but due to its relatively low salinity it impacts greatly the density and surface circulation of the coastal waters of the southern PLME. The water masses flowing into the Malvinas Embayment eventually reach the PLME through the Malvinas Shelf and occupy the outer part of the shelf. The seasonal and interannual variability of the transport are also addressed. On the southern PLME, the interannual variability of the shelf exchange is partly explained by the large-scale wind variability, which in turn is partly associated with the SAM index (r = 0.52).

Karen Guihou et al.
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Short summary
The exchange between the Humboldt and Patagonian Large Marine Ecosystems, the largest marine ecosystems of Southern Hemisphere, is investigated from numerical simulations. Most of the southern Patagonian shelf waters originate from the South Pacific's upper layer. The exchange takes place mainly through the shelf-break via Cape Horn Shelf. The interannual variability of the shelf exchange is partly explained by the large-scale wind variability and associated with the Southern Anular Mode.
The exchange between the Humboldt and Patagonian Large Marine Ecosystems, the largest marine...
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