In this study, current meter and hydrological data obtained during the X Italian Expedition in the Ross Sea (CLIMA Project) are analyzed. Our data show a nice agreement with previous data referring to the water masses present in this area and their dynamics. Here, they are used to further analyze the mixing and deepening processes of Deep Ice Shelf Water (DISW) over the northern shelf break of the Ross Sea. In more detail, our work is focused on the elementary mechanisms that are the most efficient in removing dense water from the shelf: either classical mixing effects or density currents that interact with some topographic irregularity in order to drop to deeper levels, or also the variability of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) which, in its meandering, can push the dense water off the shelf, thus interrupting its geostrophic flow. We also discuss in detail the (partial) evidence of dramatic interactions of the dense water with bottom particulate, of geological or biological origin, thus generating impulsive or quasi-steady density-turbidity currents. This complex interaction allows one to consider bottom particular and dense water as a unique self-interacting system. In synthesis, this is a first tentative analysis of the effect of bottom particulate on the dense water dynamics in the Ross Sea.

ON THE DENSE WATER SPREADING OFF THE ROSS SEA SHELF

BUDILLON, Giorgio;SALUSTI, Sallustio Ettore
2002

Abstract

In this study, current meter and hydrological data obtained during the X Italian Expedition in the Ross Sea (CLIMA Project) are analyzed. Our data show a nice agreement with previous data referring to the water masses present in this area and their dynamics. Here, they are used to further analyze the mixing and deepening processes of Deep Ice Shelf Water (DISW) over the northern shelf break of the Ross Sea. In more detail, our work is focused on the elementary mechanisms that are the most efficient in removing dense water from the shelf: either classical mixing effects or density currents that interact with some topographic irregularity in order to drop to deeper levels, or also the variability of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) which, in its meandering, can push the dense water off the shelf, thus interrupting its geostrophic flow. We also discuss in detail the (partial) evidence of dramatic interactions of the dense water with bottom particulate, of geological or biological origin, thus generating impulsive or quasi-steady density-turbidity currents. This complex interaction allows one to consider bottom particular and dense water as a unique self-interacting system. In synthesis, this is a first tentative analysis of the effect of bottom particulate on the dense water dynamics in the Ross Sea.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/25567
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