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Is the oceanic heat flux on the central Amundsen sea shelf caused by barotropic or baroclinic currents?

Cited 5 time in scopus
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Title
Is the oceanic heat flux on the central Amundsen sea shelf caused by barotropic or baroclinic currents?
Other Titles
아문젠해에서의 해양학적 열수지에 경압성, 순압성 해류가 미치는 영향
Authors
KarenM.Assmann
Lee, Sang H.
Kim, Tae-Wan
Ola Kalen
Ha, Ho Kyung
AnnaK.Wahlin
Subject
Oceanography
Keywords
Amundsen sea; Antarctica; Circulation; Heat budget; Ice shelf
Issue Date
2016
Citation
KarenM.Assmann, et al. 2016. "Is the oceanic heat flux on the central Amundsen sea shelf caused by barotropic or baroclinic currents?". DEEP-SEA RESEARCH PART II-TOPICAL STUDIES IN OCEANOGRAPHY, 123(1): 15.
Abstract
The glaciers that drain the West Antarctic Ice Sheet into the Amundsen Sea are accelerating and experiencing increased basal melt of the floating ice shelves. Warm and salty deep water has been observed to flow southward in deep troughs leading from the shelf break to the inner shelf area where the glaciers terminate. It has been suggested that the melting induced by this warm water is responsible for the acceleration of the glaciers. Here we investigate the structure of the currents and the associated heat flow on the shelf using in-situ observations from 2008 to 2014 in Dotson Trough, the main channel in the western part of the Amundsen Sea shelf, together with output from a numerical model. The model is generally able to reproduce the observed velocities and temperatures in the trough, albeit with a thicker warm bottom layer. In the absence of measurements of sea surface height we define the barotropic component of the flow as the vertical average of the velocity. It is shown that the flow is dominated by warm barotropic inflows on the eastern side and colder and fresher barotropic outflows on the western side. The transport of heat appears to be primarily induced by this clockwise barotropic circulation in the trough, contrary to earlier studies emphasizing a bottom-intensified baroclinic inflow as the main contributor.
URI
http://repository.kopri.re.kr/handle/201206/6248
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.07.014
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