Barrier layer characteristics of the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean during austral summer and autumn

Pranab Deb, Mihir K. Dash (Lead Author), Prem Chand Pandey

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Barrier layer in the Enderby Basin (EB) and the Australian Antarctic Basin (AAB) during late summer (December & January) and early autumn (February & March) are studied using temperature-salinity profiles collected between 1975 and 2012. A distinct difference in mixed layer depth is observed over the eastern (i.e. the EB) compared to western (i.e. the AAB) side of the Kerguelen Plateau (KP), with shallower mixed layer depths on the eastern side. Mixed layers show an increase from less than 50 m–∼150 m from south to north in the EB. During autumn, the wind strengthens and the upwelling over the eastern side of the KP (i.e. in the AAB) weakens, resulting in deeper mixed layers (∼80 m–100 m) compared to summer. During summer, deep barrier layer (BL) values (∼50 m or more) with porosity less than 0.3 was seen over the Chun Spur region. The fresher melt water from the EB brought by the Fawn trough current (FTC) across the KP may be responsible for the occurrence of BL over the region. During autumn, BL is spread over a much larger area around the Chun Spur, which could be attributed to the increase in the strength of FTC due to the intensification of wind over the region. A thorough study of BL condition over this region is required to understand the processes behind the discrepancies in sea ice conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-182
JournalPolar Science
Early online date21 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Barrier layer
  • Kerguelen plateau
  • Enderby basin
  • Australian Antarctic basin

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