An anticyclonic circulation above the Northwest Georgia Rise, Southern Ocean
Data from a variety of sources reveal a warm-core anticyclonic circulation above the Northwest Georgia Rise (NWGR), an similar to2000-m high bathymetric feature north of South Georgia. The sense of the circulation is opposite to the general cyclonic flow in the Georgia Basin. The circulation shows the characteristics of a stratified Taylor column: dimensional analysis shows that the local bathymetry and hydrography are conducive to the formation of such. ERS2 altimeter data show that the column, whilst not fully permanent, is nonetheless a recurring feature. High concentrations of chlorophyll-a are observed at the centre of the circulation, indicating that the modulation of the physical environment has significant consequences for the local biogeochemical system via enhanced primary production. Enhanced chlorophyll-a extends in a long plume from the NWGR along pathways indicated by drifters; this passive redistribution may have consequences for the larger (basin-) scale ecosystem.
Authors: Meredith, Michael P., Watkins, Jon L., Murphy, Eugene J., Cunningham, Nathan J., Wood, Andrew G., Korb, Rebecca, Whitehouse, Mick J., Thorpe, Sally E., Vivier, Frédéric