Articles | Volume 8, issue 3
Ocean Sci., 8, 369–388, 2012

Special issue: Synoptic Antarctic Shelf-Slope Interactions (SASSI)

Ocean Sci., 8, 369–388, 2012

Research article 14 Jun 2012

Research article | 14 Jun 2012

On the outflow of dense water from the Weddell and Ross Seas in OCCAM model

R. Kerr1,2, K. J. Heywood3, M. M. Mata1,2, and C. A. E. Garcia1 R. Kerr et al.
  • 1Laboratório de Estudos dos Oceanos e Clima, Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Rio Grande, RS, 96203-900, Brazil
  • 2Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia da Criosfera (INCT-CRIOSFERA), RS, Brazil
  • 3School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK

Abstract. We describe the seasonal and interannual variability of volume transports in the Weddell and Ross Seas using the 1/12° 20-yr simulation of the OCCAM global ocean general circulation model. The average simulated full-depth cumulative volume transports were 28.5 ± 2.9 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) and 13.4 ± 5.2 Sv, across the main export regions of the Weddell and Ross Seas, respectively. The values of mean outflow of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) (defined by neutral density γn ≥ 28.27 kg m−3) from the Weddell and Ross Seas of 10.6 ± 3.1 Sv and 0.5 ± 0.7 Sv, respectively, agree with the range reported in historical observational studies. The export of Weddell Sea dense water in OCCAM is primarily determined by the strength of the Weddell Gyre. Variability in AABW export is predominantly at periods of ~1 yr and 2–4 yr.