Monitoring the Atlantic Circumpolar Current in the Drake Passage: oceanography in the Drake Passage: wherefrom, whereto and what in between?
The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the world’s largest oceanic flow (∼135 million cubic meters per second), is an important component of the ocean climate, as it connects the three major oceanic basins. Deep Atlantic water upwells between the ACC and Antarctica and returns to the Atlantic, thus contributing to the closure of the global overturning circulation. The Drake Passage, between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica, is the region where the ACC is most constricted by landmasses and, owing to its narrowness, is the most convenient place to monitor the ACC. The Drake Passage also has considerable oceanographic interest because it lies along the cold, returning route of the global overturning circulation and is a region of strong deepwater mixing
Authors: Morales Maqueda, Miguel Angel, Heywood, Karen, Meredith, Michael