Seasonal inflow of warm water onto the southern Weddell Sea continental shelf, Antarctica
To capture the austral summer to winter transition in water mass properties over the southern Weddell Sea continental shelf and slope region, 19 Weddell seals were tagged with miniaturized conductivity–temperature–depth sensors in February 2011. During the following 8 months the instruments yielded about 9000 temperature–salinity profiles from a previously undersampled area. This allows, for the first time, a description of the seasonality of warm water intrusions onto the shelf, as well as its southward extent towards the Filchner Ice Shelf. A temperature section across the Filchner Depression and eastern shelf shows a pronounced decrease in warm water inflow from summer to winter, further supported by an almost 3–year long time series from a shelf–break mooring. The seasonal variability is related to the surface wind stress and an associated deepening of the off-shelf core of Warm Deep Water.
Authors: Årthun, Marius, Nicholls, Keith W., Makinson, Keith, Fedak, Michael A., Boehme, Lars