On the surface drift of the Southern Ocean
Drift rates of the sea surface have been calculated for the South Atlantic and South Indian Ocean sectors of the Southern Ocean using drift cards and FGGE buoys. Drift patterns and drift rates, based on results from 40,000 plastic drift cards placed from 1978 to 1981, indicate significant equatorward surface exchange between the Southern Ocean and subtropical ocean gyres. Card drift rates increase with latitude up to the 40-45S zone. Average zonal drift rates lie between 10.3 cm/s and 16.4 cm/s. Zonally averaged drift rates of FGGE buoys are also at a maximum between 40 and 45S but are 15% higher; lowest rates are 12.2 cm/s. Significant differences in the drift rates between sectors of the same zone reflect the influence of bottom topography.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 May 1988
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