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Explore the mysteries of the deep and dense Antarctic Ocean

Simon Morissette, CC BY-SA 3.0 “width =” 800 “height =” 450 “/>

For over two years, the 12 free-floating deep algo floats have quietly monitored the deepest and densest seawater flows from the Antarctic ice sheets. credit: Simon Morissette, CC BY-SA 3.0

At the deepest part of the Antarctic Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica, is the Antarctic Bottom Water, the coldest and densest water mass in the Earth’s oceans. Antarctic bottom water plays an important role in the circulation of seawater around the world and helps regulate the Earth’s climate. However, it is inaccessible and difficult to monitor continuously over a long period of time.


Well, Foppert et al.Have used data Uncovering novel insights into this mysterious thing from the 12 recently developed free-floating instruments known as Deep Argo Float. water mass. In 2018 and 2019, researchers deployed 12 floats in the Australian Antarctic Basin. Previous studies at this site have found strong evidence that Antarctic bottom water has become warmer and less salty in recent decades. Each float is approximately 1.5 meters long and can measure temperature, salt and pressure at depths of up to 6,000 meters.

Float is currently drifting and monitoring the Antarctic Bottom Water of the Australia-Antarctic Basin continuously for over two years and is capturing it. flow First single marking of this part with unprecedented details Ocean During the winter, it has been studied well below the seasonal layers of sea ice.

Analysis of these data reveals that the Antarctic Bottom Water of the Australia-Antarctic Basin follows a clockwise circulation path west of the Ross Sea and Adélie Land in Antarctica, the two main sources of this deep, dense seawater. Previous evidence was confirmed. The data also revealed new insights into the highly variable flow of this bottom water. Specifically, scientists find that most of the water supplied by the Ross Sea flows west, hugging the underwater continental slope that connects the Antarctic to the seafloor, but some of the water in the Ross Sea leaks into deeper waters. Found.

On the other hand, near 140 degrees east longitude, the Antarctic bottom water supplied from Adélie Land flows downhill and occasionally pulsates during the summer. Cut under the bottom water of the Ross Sea and down the narrow road between the slopes and the seamounts.

These findings could help better understand Antarctic bottom water, pave the way for more ongoing and cost-effective monitoring, and ultimately better understand global climate change. There is sex.


The recent extreme climate has brought about unprecedented changes in the deep sea.


For more information:
Annie Foppert et al, Deep Argo reveals bottom water characteristics and routes in the Australia-Antarctica Basin. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans (2021). DOI: 10.1029 / 2021JC017935

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Explore the mysteries of the deep and dense Antarctic Ocean

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