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Topographic form stress in the Southern Ocean State Estimate

TitleTopographic form stress in the Southern Ocean State Estimate
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMasich J., Chereskin TK, Mazloff MR
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Oceans
Date Published2015/12
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-9275
Accession NumberWOS:000369153200012
Keywordsantarctic circumpolar current; balance; beta-plane channel; bottom form stress; circulation; climate-change; dynamics; model; momentum; momentum balance; Southern Ocean; topographic form stress; transport; wind stress; wind-driven; zonal momentum

We diagnose the Southern Ocean momentum balance in a 6 year, eddy-permitting state estimate of the Southern Ocean. We find that 95% of the zonal momentum input via wind stress at the surface is balanced by topographic form stress across ocean ridges, while the remaining 5% is balanced via bottom friction and momentum flux divergences at the northern and southern boundaries of the analysis domain. While the time-mean zonal wind stress field exhibits a relatively uniform spatial distribution, time-mean topographic form stress concentrates at shallow ridges and across the continents that lie within the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) latitudes; nearly 40% of topographic form stress occurs across South America, while the remaining 60% occurs across the major submerged ridges that underlie the ACC. Topographic form stress can be divided into shallow and deep regimes: the shallow regime contributes most of the westward form stress that serves as a momentum sink for the ACC system, while the deep regime consists of strong eastward and westward form stresses that largely cancel in the zonal integral. The time-varying form stress signal, integrated longitudinally and over the ACC latitudes, tracks closely with the wind stress signal integrated over the same domain; at zero lag, 88% of the variance in the 6 year form stress time series can be explained by the wind stress signal, suggesting that changes in the integrated wind stress signal are communicated via rapid barotropic response down to the level of bottom topography.

Short TitleJ Geophys Res-Oceans
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