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The influence of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current on the oceanographic setting of a sub-Antarctic island

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Ansorge, IJ and Lutjeharms, JRE (2007) The influence of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current on the oceanographic setting of a sub-Antarctic island. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 141 (1). pp. 59-66. ISSN 0080-4703

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Abstract

The circulation in the Southern Ocean is dominated by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACe), which is the only current that flows completely around the globe. The ACC is a complex system consisting of narrow regions of sharp horizontal density gradients, which extend through the entire water column as frontal bands separated by broad zones with less intense gradients. Meridional excursions from the otherwise zonaillow in the form of meanders or mesoscale eddies occur in regions of prominent bathymetric features, suggesting a close relationship between the level of mesoscale sea surface variability and bottom topography, The Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island) lying within the Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ) at approximately 38 DE, 47 os form a very special terrestrial habitat and have, for this reason, been designated a declared nature reserve. The ecology of the islands is directly dependent on its ocean environment, With the advent of satellite altimetry it has become apparent that the Prince Edward Islands are located on the northern border of a region of remarkably high mesoscale variability. The source of this variability lies where the current jet associated with the ACC intersects the South-West Indian Ridge. From here newly generated eddies are steered by the bottom topography past the Prince Edward Islands. '[his discovery probably explains the high physical and biological variability found at the islands, and warrants further analysis,

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, RST, Van Diemens Land, natural history, science, ecology, taxonomy, botany, zoology, geology, geography, papers & proceedings, Australia, UTAS Library
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 59-66
ISSN: 0080-4703
Additional Information: Copyright Royal Society of Tasmania
Date Deposited: 17 May 2012 04:26
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:32
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/13340
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