Journal or chapter

The role of tides in bottom water export from the western Ross Sea

Scientific Reports (2021)

Approximately 25% of Antarctic Bottom Water has its origin as dense water exiting the western Ross Sea, but little is known about what controls the release of dense water plumes from the Drygalski Trough.

We deployed two moorings on the slope to investigate the water properties of the bottom water exiting the region at Cape Adare. Salinity of the bottom water has increased in 2018 from the previous measurements in 2008–2010, consistent with the observed salinity increase in the Ross Sea.

We find High Salinity Shelf Water from the Drygalski Trough contributes to two pulses of dense water at Cape Adare. The timing and magnitude of the pulses is largely explained by an inverse relationship with the tidal velocity in the Ross Sea. We suggest that the diurnal and low frequency tides in the western Ross Sea may control the magnitude and timing of the dense water outflow.


Taking the pulse of the Ross Sea Outflow