A record-high ocean bottom pressure in the South Pacific observed by GRACE
Article first published online: 17 FEB 2011
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 38, Issue 4, February 2011
How to Cite
2011), A record-high ocean bottom pressure in the South Pacific observed by GRACE, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L04602, doi:10.1029/2010GL046013., , and (
- Issue published online: 17 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 17 FEB 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 DEC 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 24 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Received: 29 OCT 2010
- ocean bottom pressure;
- South Pacific;
- sea level
In late 2009 to early 2010, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite pair observed a record increase in ocean bottom pressure (OBP) over a large mid-latitude region of the South East Pacific. Its magnitude is substantially larger than other oceanic events in the Southern Hemisphere found in the entire GRACE data records (2003–2010) on multi-month time scales. The OBP data help to understand the nature of a similar signal in sea surface height (SSH) anomaly observed by altimetry: the SSH increase is mainly due to mass convergence. Analysis of the barotropic vorticity equation using scatterometer data, atmospheric reanalysis product, and GRACE and altimeter an atmospheric reanalysis product observations suggests that the observed OBP/SSH signal was primarily caused by wind stress curl associated with a strong and persistent anticyclone in late 2009 in combination with effects of planetary vorticity gradient, bottom topography, and friction.