Observations of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current over the Udintsev Fracture Zone, the narrowest choke point in the Southern Ocean

Young-Hyang Park (Laboratoire LOCEAN-IPSL, Sorbonne Université (UPMC, Univ. Paris 6)-CNRS-IRD-MNHN, France)

CoAuthors

T. Park (Korea Polar Research Institute, Korea); T.-W Kim (Korea Polar Research Institute, Korea); S.-H. Lee (Korea Polar Research Institute, Korea); C.-S. Hong (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Korea); J.-H. Lee (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Korea); M.H. Rio (Collect Localisation Satellites, France); I. Pujol (Collect Localisation Satellites, France); M. Ballarotta (Collect Localisation Satellites, France); I. Durand (Laboratoire LOCEAN-IPSL, Sorbonne Université (UPMC, Univ. Paris 6)-CNRS-IRD-MNHN , France); C. Provost (Laboratoire LOCEAN-IPSL, Sorbonne Université (UPMC, Univ. Paris 6)-CNRS-IRD-MNHN , France)

Event: 2019 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Science II: Large Scale Ocean Circulation Variability and Change

Presentation type: Type Poster

An up-to-date map of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) fronts is constructed from the latest version of mean dynamic topography from satellite altimetry, and reveals the narrowest ACC width in the Udintsev Fracture Zone (UFZ), with the strongest concentration of the three major ACC fronts within a limited distance as short as 170 km, about 40% narrower than that at Drake Passage. At 144°W, at the entrance of the UFZ, which lies between the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge (PAR) and its eastwardly-offset segment (offset PAR segment), there is a triple confluence of the Subantarctic Front (SAF), Polar Front (PF), and Southern ACC Front. Downstream of this longitude, the SAF progressively meanders northward over the relatively shallow offset PAR segment before channeling through the Eltanin Fracture Zone, thus diverging from the PF which proceeds through the UFZ. In-situ observations from two recent cruises at 144°W confirm the satellite altimetry-derived frontal circulation in the UFZ region, and yield a baroclinic transport relative to the bottom of 113 x 106 m3 s-1, comparable to that through Drake Passage. The hydrographic sections show no Antarctic bottom water colder than 0.2°C. Characteristics of major water masses are described and the implications for their potential downstream modifications at Drake Passage are discussed in terms of the meridional overturning circulation across the ACC. Mesoscale eddy activity with periods shorter than 90 days is predominantly concentrated in the immediate downstream area of the offset PAR segment, suggesting a substantial poleward eddy heat flux there.

Figure caption: (a) Altimetry-derived five ACC fronts with topography. Big five choke points are indicated, from the west: UFZ = Udintsev Fracture Zone; DP = Drake Passage; SWIR = Southwest Indian Ridge; KP = Kerguelen Plateau; TAS = Tasmania. (b) Meridional distance (y-axis, degree in latitude) of each front from the PF as a function of longitude (x-axis).
 
 Observations of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current over the Udintsev Fracture Zone, the narrowest choke point in the Southern Ocean

Poster show times:

Room Start Date End Date
The Gallery Tue, Oct 22 2019,16:15 Tue, Oct 22 2019,18:00
The Gallery Thu, Oct 24 2019,14:00 Thu, Oct 24 2019,15:45
Young-Hyang Park
Laboratoire LOCEAN-IPSL, Sorbonne Université (UPMC, Univ. Paris 6)-CNRS-IRD-MNHN
France
young-hyang.park@mnhn.fr