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Free Content Formation and discharge of deep and bottom water in the northwestern Weddell Sea

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Deep and bottom water formation in the Weddell Sea is the major source of the bottom water of the world ocean. Measurements made in the northwestern Weddell Sea between 1989 and 1993 during the ‘Weddell Gyre Study’ indicate that the outflow of young bottom water with the western boundary current of the Weddell Gyre is dominated by a rather fresh water mass which obtains its thermohaline characteristics by mixing of deep water with a flow from the shelf in front of the Larsen Ice Shelf. The more saline source water mass, which is necessary to maintain the thermohaline properties of the Weddell Sea Deep Water, is less prominent in the bottom water outflow. The transport of bottom water with the western boundary current of the Weddell Gyre ranges from 1 to 4 106 m3s−1. The outflow is subject to a seasonal cycle with minimum temperatures and maximum velocities in early austral winter.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 1995

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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