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The upper, deep, abyssal and overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean at 30 degrees S in 2003 and 2011

TitleThe upper, deep, abyssal and overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean at 30 degrees S in 2003 and 2011
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsHernandez-Guerra A., Talley LD, Pelegri J.L, Velez-Belchi P., Baringer M.O, Macdonald A.M, McDonagh E.L
Date Published2019/09
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0079-6611
Accession NumberWOS:000483411800026
Keywordsagulhas eddies; antarctic; bottom water; flow patterns; general-circulation; intermediate water; oceanography; south-atlantic; temporal variability; total geostrophic circulation; transport variability; western boundary current

Mass transports for the thermocline, intermediate, deep and abyssal layers in the Atlantic Ocean, at 30 degrees S and for 2003 and 2011, have been estimated using data from GO-SHIP hydrographic transoceanic sections and applying three inverse models with different constraints. The uppermost layers comprise South Atlantic Central Water (SACW) and Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW), with a net northward transport in the range of 12.1-14.7 Sv in 2003 and 11.7-17.7 Sv in 2011, which can be considered as the northward returning limb of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). The western boundary Brazil Current transports twice as much SACW in 2003 (-20.2 +/- 0.7 Sv) than in 2011 (-9.7 +/- 0.7 Sv). A poleward current consisting of AAIW and Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW) flows beneath the Brazil Current. The eastern boundary Benguela Current, characterized by a high mesoscale eddy activity, transports 15.6 +/- 0.9 Sv in 2003 and 11.2 +/- 0.8 Sv in 2011, east of the Walvis Ridge. In the ocean interior, the northward flow is mainly located east of the Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) where Agulhas Rings (ARs), observed in both 2003 and 2011, transport warm and salty water from the Indian to the Atlantic Ocean. For the deep layers, the southward transport of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) occurs as the Deep Western Boundary Current and also in the eastern basin. The western and eastern basins transport similar amounts of NADW to the south during both years, although the eastern pathway changes substantially between both years. The total NADW transport, which is also considered the MOC, is in the range 16.3-24.5 Sv in 2003 and 17.1-29.6 Sv in 2011, hence with no significant change.

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