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    Surface exchange between the Weddell and Scotia Seas

    Request Meeting Document
    Document Number:
    A.F. Thompson and M.K. Youngs
    Submitted By:
    Mr Doug Cooper (CCAMLR Secretariat)
    Geophys. Res. Lett., 40 (2013): 1–6, doi: 10.1002/2013GL058114

    Within Drake Passage, the southern flank of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) hosts the ventilation of deep water, the injection of Antarctic shelf waters and interactions between westward and eastward boundary cur rents. This exchange is explored through the trajectories of forty surface drifters released in January 2012 in the northwestern Weddell Sea. The drifters detail Lagrangian transport pathways between the eastern Antarctic Peninsula and sites of elevated chlorophyll in the Scotia Sea. ACC frontal currents, in particular the  Southern ACC Front, act as dynamical transport barriers to the drifters and influence surface chlorophyll distributions, indicating that ACC fronts partition Weddell source waters in the Scotia Sea. Interannual fluctuations in surface chlorophyll in the south Scotia Sea and the northern Weddell Sea covary. This suggests that Scotia Sea ecosystem dynamics are linked to water properties injected from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and respond to Weddell Gyre circulation changes.