Abyssal Transport Variations in the Southwest South Atlantic: First Insights From a Long-Term Observation Array at 34.5°S
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Abyssal Transport Variations in the Southwest South Atlantic: First Insights From a Long-Term Observation Array at 34.5°S
  • Published Date:

    2019

  • Source:
    Geophysical Research Letters, 46(12), 6699-6705.
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  • Description:
    Abstract The zonal structure and time variability of the abyssal flow (below 3,000 dbar) in the South Atlantic western boundary is investigated using a combination of moored observations and simultaneous hydrographic/velocity sections at 34.5°S during 2009–2018. Moored direct velocity measurements near the bottom show strong variability with a peak-to-peak range exceeding 80 cm/s and dominant signals at times scales of 1–2 months. Daily time series of the meridional absolute geostrophic volume transport computed from the moorings reveals a highly energetic record with a temporal standard deviation of 8.3 Sv and peak-to-peak variations of 49 Sv, suggesting a significant contribution of the abyssal layer flows to the Deep Western Boundary Current time variability. The absolute transport is mostly driven by barotropic changes that are dominated by variations in the bottom pressure ~650 km away from the continental slope.
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