Skip to main content

Spiraling pathways of global deep waters to the surface of the Southern Ocean

Author(s): Tamsitt, Veronica; Drake, Henri F; Morrison, Adele K; Talley, Lynne D; Dufour, Carolina O; et al

To refer to this page use:
Abstract: Upwelling of global deep waters to the sea surface in the Southern Ocean closes the global overturning circulation and is fundamentally important for oceanic uptake of carbon and heat, nutrient resupply for sustaining oceanic biological production, and the melt rate of ice shelves. However, the exact pathways and role of topography in Southern Ocean upwelling remain largely unknown. Here we show detailed upwelling pathways in three dimensions, using hydrographic observations and particle tracking in high-resolution models. The analysis reveals that the northern-sourced deep waters enter the Antarctic Circumpolar Current via southward flow along the boundaries of the three ocean basins, before spiraling southeastward and upward through the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Upwelling is greatly enhanced at five major topographic features, associated with vigorous mesoscale eddy activity. Deep water reaches the upper ocean predominantly south of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, with a spatially nonuniform distribution. The timescale for half of the deep water to upwell from 30° S to the mixed layer is ~60–90 years.
Publication Date: 2-Aug-2017
Citation: Tamsitt, Veronica, Henri F. Drake, Adele K. Morrison, Lynne D. Talley, Carolina O. Dufour, Alison R. Gray, Stephen M. Griffies et al. "Spiraling pathways of global deep waters to the surface of the Southern Ocean." Nature Communications 8, (2017): 1-10. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00197-0.
DOI: doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00197-0
EISSN: 2041-1723
Pages: 1 - 10
Language: eng
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Nature Communications
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

Items in OAR@Princeton are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.