Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-43
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-43

  19 Feb 2021

19 Feb 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal TC and is expected to appear here in due course.

The Antarctic Coastal Current in the Bellingshausen Sea

Ryan Schubert1, Andrew F. Thompson2, Kevin Speer1, Lena Schulze Chretien3, and Yana Bebieva1 Ryan Schubert et al.
  • 1Florida State University Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute, Tallahassee, Fl 32306
  • 2California Institute of Technology, Environmental Science and Engineering, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
  • 3Marine Science Research Institute, Department of Biology and Marine Science, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida

Abstract. The ice shelves of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet experience basal melting induced by underlying warm, salty Circumpolar Deep Water. Basal meltwater, along with run-off from ice sheets, supplies fresh buoyant water to a circulation feature near the coast, the Antarctic Coastal Current (AACC). The formation, structure and coherence of the AACC has been well documented along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Observations from instrumented seals collected in the Bellingshausen Sea offer extensive hydrographic coverage throughout the year, providing evidence of the continuation of the westward flowing AACC from the WAP towards the Amundsen Sea. The observations reported here demonstrate that the coastal boundary current enters the eastern Bellingshausen Sea from the WAP, flows westward along the face of multiple ice shelves, including the westernmost Abbot Ice Shelf. The presence of the AACC in the western Bellingshausen has implications for the export of water properties into the eastern Amundsen Sea, which we suggest may occur through multiple pathways either along the coast or along the continental shelf break. The temperature, salinity and density structure of the current indicates an increase in baroclinic transport as the AACC flows from the east to the west and as it entrains meltwater from the ice shelves in the Bellingshausen Sea. The AACC acts as a mechanism to transport meltwater out of the Bellingshausen Sea and into the Amundsen and Ross Seas, with the potential to impact basal melt rates and bottom water formation.

Ryan Schubert et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-43', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 Mar 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Ryan Schubert, 14 May 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-43', Anonymous Referee #2, 30 Mar 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Ryan Schubert, 14 May 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-43', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 Mar 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Ryan Schubert, 14 May 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-43', Anonymous Referee #2, 30 Mar 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Ryan Schubert, 14 May 2021

Ryan Schubert et al.

Ryan Schubert et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 453 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
311 131 11 453 2 2
  • HTML: 311
  • PDF: 131
  • XML: 11
  • Total: 453
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 2
Views and downloads (calculated since 19 Feb 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 19 Feb 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 461 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 461 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 31 Jul 2021
Download
Short summary
The Antarctic Coastal Current (AACC) is an ocean current found along the coast of Antarctica. Using measurements of temperature and salinity collected by instrumented seals, the AACC is shown to be a continuous circulation feature throughout West Antarctica. Due to its proximity to the coast, the AACC's structure influences oceanic melting of West Antarctic ice shelves. These melt rates impact the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet with global implications for future sea level change.