On the export of dense water from the Weddell and Ross Seas

R. Kerr, K. J. Heywood, M. M. Mata, C. A. E. Garcia

Research output: Working paperPreprint


We describe the seasonal and interannual variability of volume transports in Weddell and Ross Seas using the 1/12deg; 20-yr simulation of the OCCAM global ocean general circulation model. The average simulated full-depth cumulative 28.5 plusmn; 2.9 Sv (1 Sv equiv; 106 m3 s-1) and 13.4 plusmn; 5.2 Sv, across the main export regions of the Weddell and Ross Seas, respectively. The values of mean outflow of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) (defined by neutral density gamma;n 28.27 kg m-3) from the Weddell and Ross Seas of 10.6 plusmn; 3.1 Sv and 0.5 plusmn; 0.7 Sv, respectively, agree with the range reported in historical observational studies. Variability in AABW export is predominantly at periods of ~1 yr and 2-4 yr. The transit time taken by AABW sourced in the Southern Weddell Sea to reach the main Weddell export zone is ~2 yr. Lagged correlation between the thermohaline properties of AABW source waters and AABW export indicates that recent shelf waters freshening trends are likely related to changes in the AABW outflow rates.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCopernicus Publications
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameOcean Science Discussions
PublisherEuropean Geosciences Union
ISSN (Print)1812-0822

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