Articles | Volume 16, issue 7
Research article
28 Jul 2022
Research article |  | 28 Jul 2022

Reversal of ocean gyres near ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea caused by the interaction of sea ice and wind

Yixi Zheng, David P. Stevens, Karen J. Heywood, Benjamin G. M. Webber, and Bastien Y. Queste


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Short summary
New observations reveal the Thwaites gyre in a habitually ice-covered region in the Amundsen Sea for the first time. This gyre rotates anticlockwise, despite the wind here favouring clockwise gyres like the Pine Island Bay gyre – the only other ocean gyre reported in the Amundsen Sea. We use an ocean model to suggest that sea ice alters the wind stress felt by the ocean and hence determines the gyre direction and strength. These processes may also be applied to other gyres in polar oceans.