Origin of Circumpolar Deep Water intruding onto the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Sea continental shelves.
- Author(s): Nakayama, Yoshihiro;
- Menemenlis, Dimitris;
- Zhang, Hong;
- Schodlok, Michael;
- Rignot, Eric
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05813-1
Melting of West Antarctic ice shelves is enhanced by Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) intruding onto the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas (ABS) continental shelves. Despite existing studies of cross-shelf and on-shelf CDW transports, CDW pathways onto the ABS originating from further offshore have never been investigated. Here, we investigate CDW pathways onto the ABS using a regional ocean model. Simulated CDW tracers from a zonal section across 67°S (S04P) circulate along the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and Ross Gyre (RG) and travel into ABS continental shelf after 3-5 years, but source locations are shifted westward by ~900 km along S04P in 2001-2006 compared to 2009-2014. We find that simulated on- and off-shelf CDW is ~0.1-0.2 °C warmer in the 2009-2014 case than in the 2001-2006 case together with changes in simulated ocean circulation. These differences are primarily caused by lateral, rather than surface, boundary conditions, implying that large-scale atmospheric and ocean circulations are able to control CDW pathways and thus off- and on-shelf CDW properties.