Ocean processes at the Antarctic continental slope

Karen J. Heywood, Sunke Schmidtko, Céline Heuzé, Jan Kaiser, Timothy D. Jickells, Bastien Y. Queste, David P. Stevens, Martin Wadley, Andrew F. Thompson, Sophie Fielding, Damien Guihen, Elizabeth Creed, Jeff K. Ridley, Walker Smith, Craig M. Lee

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The Antarctic continental shelves and slopes occupy relatively small areas, but, nevertheless, are important for global climate, biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem functioning. Processes of water mass transformation through sea ice formation/melting and ocean-atmosphere interaction are key to the formation of deep and bottom waters as well as determining the heat flux beneath ice shelves. Climate models, however, struggle to capture these physical processes and are unable to reproduce water mass properties of the region. Dynamics at the continental slope are key for correctly modelling climate, yet their small spatial scale presents challenges both for ocean modelling and for observational studies. Cross-slope exchange processes are also vital for the flux of nutrients such as iron from the continental shelf into the mixed layer of the Southern Ocean. An © 2014 The Authors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20130047
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2019
Early online date2 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2014


  • Antarctic continental shelf
  • Antarctic slope front
  • Climate model
  • Iron fertilization
  • Ocean glider
  • Water mass

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