Geophysical Research Letters

Wintertime ocean conditions over the southern Weddell Sea continental shelf, Antarctica

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Abstract

[1] During the austral winter of 2007 a Weddell Seal tagged with a miniaturized conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) instrument travelled over the central southern Weddell Sea continental shelf. The instrument yielded 750 CTD profiles, 250 of them to the sea floor. The data show a full depth flow of water onto the shelf via a sill at the shelf break (74°S 44°W). The warmth from the core of the flow was able to maintain the surface mixed layer above the freezing point, resulting in a band of reduced ice-production. An estimate of the on-shelf flux suggests that this flow accounts for most of the estimated 3 Sv of water draining from the southern Weddell Sea continental shelf.

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